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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  February 22, 2012 8:00pm-1:00am EST

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on that. i believe we did put out a statement for ash wednesday today. thanks very much. >> tonight from the world economic forum, a discussion about women in leadership roles. the president speaks at a ground making of an african-american history museum on the national mall and a discussion of iran's nuclear program and potential for war in the middle east. panelists in davos, switzerland talk about disparities in the corporate world. thailand's first female prime minister and the chief operating of facebook in attendance. this is an hour. >> i have to say this is something of a milestone.
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there's been a tradition here to regard women's empowerment as something that is worthy and nice, but also a soft issue and kind of secondary, and to have this discussion with this extraordinary panel being held here in this large hall is really a reflection to the degree to which this issue has grown up and has graduated to a perception that if you want to address the world's key issues, whether it be global poverty or economic development, climate change, insecurity, help you have to do it by educating girls and bringing those educated women into the global labor force and positions of power, whether it be here at the world economic forum or in corridors of power all over the world. we have this terrific panel to discuss these issues with. from my left we have prime minister shinawat, the first woman prime minister of
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thailand. we have archbishop desmond tutu , the nobel peace prize laureate, and also chair of the elders. michelle bacele, the first woman president of chile and now head of u.n. women. , tual lazan esks, the c.e.o. of holdings in bahrain and empowers women in the leadership role in bahrain and around the world and cheryl sandberg, the c.o.o. of facebook and worldwide a voice for focusing on women's talent and bringing it to bear on all kinds of global issues. [applause] >> when economists try to
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explain the economic dynamism of asia, then, while there are many different business models country by country in asia, one thing they pointed to is the way countries have made increasingly good use of the female half of the population as part of the economic recipe for success across asia and would like to invite the prime minister to start by givings her sense how thailand has used, the females of this population as pardon of its extraordinary dynamism. prime minister? >> ladies and gentlemen, may i speak in thai so i can make my contents clear. >> good afternoon. distinguished guests.
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[speaking through interpreter] >> it's a great honor and pleased to be here to have this opportunity to say some remarks and join the debate on women as a way forward. especially happy. i feel it's very lucky that i was born in the th a, i society which has gender equality between men and women. i had the opportunity to have education and then to work in the private sector as a high level executive and most importantly, today, i have the opportunity given by the thai people throughout the country to be prime minister, the first woman prime minister of thailand. even though i feel i have great fortune but the reality today is that in all regions around the world, women still face
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many challenges such as gender inequality and women have less education. the studies have shown they received less education than men, they have less access to capital, it's more difficult. it makes the income be less, and therefore unable to develop the family. more than that, there are women who are victims of sexual harassment and violence and violations. with regard -- there are hampers to women such as their physique and strength but i see that being women there are many advantages of strengths which can make us equals and work with men as equals. whether it's being meticulous, the understanding of problems, the ability to be conciliatory,
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and also the mother instinct, which understands children and youth. and understands the weaknesses and frailts of women we can -- trail tis of women we can resolve. another study is women have better capabilities to make savings. about 70% to 90% of women that are coming from generations of women come back to family, so i believe that. if women have the opportunity to express their strengths equally, it would be an important factor that would help pursue sustainable development and also promote security. today, if you ask me what's the population of th a, i women and women around the world, it is 50%. it's another gap, another potential we should use so they can contribute and have a role
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to play, whether it's in the society, economics, and politics. therefore, the creation of the empowerment of women must begin with changing deep root problems such as in culture and society, these perceptions, and more importantly, we should attack a problem at its grassroots. for my government, the pulse is clear in which is to create a national women to women fund, first time ever in thailand and hope this will help women become a major force in building society in the country. this fund will not only resolve basic problems of women such as to get access to funding and to resolve the violations of human rights that happens with women, it also will be an important factor in developing the potential of women so that they can contribute themselves and sustain themselves, their
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families, and to develop their strengths and networking of women throughout the country. in addition to helping women, i have -- i am able to support the idea of the girl effect. so they will have education. a girl, a educated girl, it is valuable and you can create a strong contributor to society in the future. from statistics that we have seen, women have had education, the opportunities to be aroused or have violence against them has been reduced. if given opportunities for women for education, especially for girls, then it will enhance opportunities for income generation for the family and this will increase. therefore, i underscore the fact that girls and use for women are an important aspect of the development of the
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society, economy, and global politics. i really hope the exchange of views that we have today in this debate which comprises both men and women with great success in these areas and those who understand the problems of women, it will be another important step to increase momentum forward to develop the role of women and to have them as a higher role, as an important force, equal with men. finally, may i take this opportunity to inform you that thailand will be the host of the world economic forum on east asia in bangkok from may 30 to june 1 this year, under the topic, there will be discussions on the development of the world -- economic development of their aspects and role will women and is
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another important aspect we will discuss. i will invite all of you to understand thailand and join this meeting and this world economic forum we will host and also may i take this opportunity to inform you that we have a thailand night at the central sport hotel this evening. at 7:30 p.m. until 10:00 p.m. tonight, and you will see the culture of thailand and also the potential of thailand. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] >> thank you very much, madam prime minister. in a little bit i'll invite some questions from the audience so keep in mind, audience, think some questions up in just a little bit. michelle bachelet, your role with the u.s. women invest ways to address all kinds of global problems. and you've been i think very articulate about the fact this
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isn't a matter of charity, but a matter of actually solving problems, that women aren't the problem, they're the solution. can you talk a little bit about how this -- how investing in girls does actually solve global problems? >> first of all, even the prime minister mentioned some of them. we know, for example, when investing in education for girls, and particularly not only in primary education but secondary education, we will see an important drop on early pregnancy and that will lead to an important drop of mortality because the majority of women mortality in developing countries is mainly between 15-19 years old. so that's an important issue. the other thing is the early marriage, particularly early forced marriage and has been seen as issues, also, the race of getting infected with h.i.v. or acquiring aids. the second thing that is very important is in terms of an extra year of primary school produces a boost on a girl's
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eventual weight on 10 to 20%. an extra year in secondary school has a very important respect, 15% to 45% in future wages for girls. the second thing is when we know, according to the culture organization, that if we would give women the same asset to women as men in terms of access to land, to credit, technical assistance, water and so on, it will increase the national yield crops in 4% and it will permit us to take care of hunger 100 million to 150 million people. so there's so much evidence that investing in girls and in women is not only, as you say, i said with other words is not only the right thing to do, it is the right thing but it's a smart thing to do. >> if there's an economic return here, this is a pretty smart community of investors here. if there's an economic return, then why doesn't the market invest in girls by itself?
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why do we have to intervene? >> well, i have been asking myself that question because as you see, not only on international community, in any politically correct statement, women are essential. you mention it, we're essential in the development area, women are essential in the development as a whole, but it's not happening. why? i believe probably because we need to work much harder with the business community so they can increase the opportunity for women to have possibility of better jobs. we need to increase the opportunity -- we need also to, i would say, work at the country levels in terms of how we ensure that women not only study the traditional study, usually as caregivers with very low salaries, but also go much more in science and innovation, technology and so on. so it must be done by the private sector but also by
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government. >> archbishop, you and the elders are addressing all kinds of global problems all around the world, and yet one of those you and your colleagues have really chosen to focus on has been the empowerment of girls and in particular the end of child marriage. why do you give such a priority to focusing on girls? 123 the answer is obvious. we've already heard. but, i mean, when young girls are involved in sexual activity , infant mortality increases. but very straightforwardly, the evidence is that -- if we do not in fact end child marriage,
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we can say goodbye to six of the eight millennium government goals. you won't be able to do anything about poverty because a child bride has to drop out of school usually, that means she's not going to be employable, or if employable, at very, very low salaries. the health question, universalizing primary school education make -- maternal health. you go on. and why don't we get it into our heads that the solution is straightforward and simple. we won't make it without the
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women. [applause] >> god told adam, you know. it's not good for this guy to be alone. [laughter] it is part of who we are. for instance, things like compassion, gentleness, caring i mean, those are part of what it means to be feminine . and i think hitler happened because his mom did not cradle him and so he ended up with no
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sense of security and went out to try to prove that he was someone by clobbering others. women are totally indispensable for the continued existence of all society. >> thank you. [applause] >> i need help. i'm looking at the men. please make sure that they don't have weapons. >> everybody's been disarmed, i hope. i'd like to turn the conversation to what specific kinds of interventions will actually make a difference. we can agree on the need for much greater equality but of course whether we're talking about south africa or whether
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we're talking about the corporate suite in new york, there is profound inequality, and we all know that. what can we actually do to go about creating that greater equality and to the extent many of the people here come from the business community, i'd like to ask you, you're somebody who pioneered this, what can one do and, you know, what are the returns, the profit making point of view, why does it make good sense if a company to take those keends of steps? >> sure. first of all, i look at it from two angles to try to close the gap. one is as michelle said is the right thing to do. but second, and what really motivates me even more is my bablet -- ability to generate better performance and better profits for my institution and for the whole of the economy. if i look at the world
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population female represent over 50% of the population. if we do not incentivize that big portion of the population to participate in the development of the global economies, we never are going to achieve. we never are going to achieve. we need the whole population. forget about male, female. all of us are part of the same global economy. and the world. so we need to work hand in hand. of course, how can we close that gap? there definitely are different ways. one way i'm trying to follow which is an individual interest, because of the second reason that i pointed out, the economic reason, so in my own organization, what i made sure
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that i hire people based on merit, not because they're male, not because they're female, but i do want to have that diversity, because i truly believe if i'm sitting around a table with my executives and they're all male, if i add another resource were that incremental value will be minimal and eventually it will diminish, actually. if i bring in a female to that table, that person will add different ideas, different angle of thinking, and probably -- not probably, i know, that person will improve the performance of the whole team. now, the way i look at it is it's the responsibility of the governments, of the
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policymakers to initiate from the beginning, from the youth level, to force the education of the youth to show that male and female are both equal and both needs to contribute to the well-being of each country. second, and i know it's a controversial area, but quote as. -- but quotas. i really believe quotas, in all but of course to tie it with merit. i believe quotas are very important. >> isn't there an inconsistency there between quotas and merit? isn't there a tradeoff? >> no, because in all of the studies, nick, ok, chose that women, they do better in universities, and they actually contribute -- if we look at the fortune 500, 25 top companies that we call them female
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friendly, they showed higher performance. >> and one of those no doubt is facebook. >> definitely. >> and cheryl sandberg gave a terrific speech, which i commend to you -- commencement speech at barnard last may i guess it was, looking at these issues. and i really encourage you to go and google it. but can you talk a also bit -- >> really? >> or -- >> it's on youtube, which is google. >> can you talk a little bit about not only what the corporate sector needs to do to create greater opportunity for women employees but also what women themselves need to do. >> i think all of these relate, that what we basically have is an ambition gap all around the world. we have equality nowhere for women and we have two very different forms of an ambition gap.
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in the developing world, as many people sit here, we have an ambition gap at the societal level. we say we want to educate our girls as much as our boys but we don't mean it. we don't really do the things we need to do. in the developed world, we have an ambition gap at the personal level. and the data shows this superclearly. so in the united states women got 50% of the college degrees in 1981. 30 years ago. 31 years ago. and ever since then, women have made progress at every level, every year they get more college degrees, more college degrees, they enter more jobs and become more junior managers. they've stopped making progress at the top in the last 10 years. we're basically stuck in corporate america, 15%, 16% at c-level jobs and board jobs. if you look at the numbers around the rest of the developed world, the numbers are way worse, not better. and there's still complete stagnation. and if you poll women in the developed world, they're not as ambitious as men, so whether it
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was a study in "the economist" published and if you ask women to identify very ambitious, 36% will say that. in china or brazil, brazil is 69% and china is 66% and india is 85%. so ironically, in the places where you have the equality of education and women are even exceeding men, you actually don't have the personal ambition, ambition levels. and i could go in all day the reason of the root cause but i'll hit them very quickly. we don't raise our daughters to be as ambitious as our sons. last month there were t-shirts sold at this jamboree which is a very large chain of kid stores that said smart like daddy for the boys and pretty like mommy. not in 1951, last month. little girls are called bossy. anyone in davos a girl is called bossy? i challenge you, go find someone and watch them call a little boy bossy.
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i don't see it. they're not bossy, that's the natural order of things. then is goes all the way through. we tried to equalize things in the work force. we haven't equalized things in the home. in the united states if a couple both work completely full time, the woman does more than twice as much in the home as the man. you can't get to equality when you're not in the home. and the most important point is that success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively court-martialated for women. as the man gets more powerful and successful, he's better liked. as a woman gets more powerful and successful, she is less liked. so from early childhood through marriage, through adolescence, all the way through, we reward men every step of the way for being leaders, for being assertive, for taking risks, for being competitive and teach women as young as 4, lay back, be communal. and until we change that at the personal level, we can't change this. and we really have to go out there and say, there's an
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ambition gap. we want girls to be as ambitious as our boys. we need our boys to be as ambitious to contribute in the home and we need our girls to be as ambitious to achieve in the work force. [applause] >> well taken, cheryl. but isn't there a danger, then, you're letting c.e.o.'s off the hook that they can say, well, i'd love to create greater equality in the work force, but until parents raise their daughters with greater equality, then i can't achieve it? i don't want to let these -- let people here off the hook in a sense. >> i never let anyone off the hook, good point. equal maternity and paternity. how do we expect our husbands to do as much as the wives if they don't get equal leave? it's ok as a woman in the work force, sometimes not always to leave and take the child. we need to let men leave and take care of the child. we need flexibility of all types. we need men to understand the
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success and likeability point and women, it is superimportant if you watch -- and i'm sure everyone here had this experience. you watch the c.e.o., typically a man, talk about his senior team. he goes around, talks about everyone's strengths and weaknesses, right? we've all seen this and get to the one woman that reports to him, he says she's great at her job but just not as well liked as the man, with no understanding that, of course she's not, that's what the data shows really clearly. we need to understand that when men negotiate for their own salaries, everyone wants to work with them more. but when women negotiate for their own salaries, everyone, men and women want to work with them less. you teach people that -- i talk about this hugely openly and the next time a woman sitting across from a man and she negotiates, they have a different reaction. and that really has to come from the top and understanding that there are different challenges and the structures to support them have to come from the very top. >> so guys, you're back on the
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hook. now, we all agree about the importance and the benefits of educating girls, seeing the girl effect come to pass, of achieving greater equality. i mean, at the world economic forum, they believe in that and yet 83% of the people here are still male and so i want talal al zain raise the issue of quotas and talk among the rest of you, is it a way to accelerate progress, would you recommend that? i'll throw that open to whoever wants to grab that. michelle? >> the experience isn't always interesting, five, six years ago, they first of all offer voluntary quota at the boards of the c.e.o.'s, it didn't happen and they have to meet it but after five years when they finish all the votes of the companies, all the studies show higher performance. so it's not because one of the thing is, it's not quota for
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quota, it's what our women can contribute, what can they do better? and all the studies show that women can improve the performance, being on a board, being in a senior management team, being at a different position. so all on quality, people can improve the quality of politics and can improve also the kind of policies that they implement and really i think that it's true that we have to link quota with marriage. why do we only ask that when we're talking about women. we also need men in any position to be with the right capacity and with merit. so i think it's at the end is a false dilemma, because to women, do we ask them to be perfect? we need everyone to be as good as possible. >> as you know, india has passed legislation to require 1/3 at any one time of the local
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-- there has been good research showing it results in better outcomes, in particular more investment and water. would anyone else like to tackle that issue? >> i have lived in a society that charge me on something very silly. the color of my skin. people talk about us. they legislated about us. then, lo and behold, they are surprised that because they have not invested in us, they have
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not asked us how we feel about whatever, they are able to pontificate about us. we were discriminated against for things on which i can do nothing. i can try until i am blue in the face. i cannot change the color of my skin. we have moved it from there. we penalized people for something we think and do nothing -- the agenda. we were surprised that laws are
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made that benefit others -- look, they are not so good. well, then the world looks up and you remove these artificial barriers. the world discovers, hey, nelson mandela coming out of this community. i believe we are impoverishing our selves when we do what we do to women. we are actually made for this interdependence. each brings gifts and
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attributes. when the men came to the truth and reconciliation commission, almost invariably, they told a story about themselves. equally, when women came almost all of them told a story about somebody else. >> about others? >> yes. we are really impoverishing ourselves. guess that will develop as they
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mention two other guests. >> we then find ourselves very interesting. -- week, men, find ourselves very interesting. i would like to open it up to some questions to the audience. raise your hands if you would like to ask a question. we have a couple of microphones up here. >> hello. >> there is another microphone coming toward you, i think. >> i am from asia, korea. we are very much discriminated. i appreciate what you said.
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we do not have to imitate man. i think it should be based more on a vision. our vision should be succeeded -- i look at the un. this is such an important, it is so sad to see such an important work like the copenhagen treaty fail. i am wondering how you can take millionss initiatives,
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of women can talk about this issue. >> we are short on time. >> can i make one last comment? >> 10 seconds. >> in thailand, i know about sex trafficking. could you stop women from infant age serving man for sexual slavery? thank you. >> you know, i think your question on an addition to lead and ambition based on vision -- they are not mutually exclusive at all. a lot of people, men and women
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who have a really big ambition to change the world understand the need a leadership role to get there. we really do in order for women who have vision to be able to have impact, it has to be ok for them to have the ambition to lead as well. without it, i promise we will stay in a world that is completely run by men. >> i want to add one little thing to that question. i think it is important to have the ambition. it is important from home. it is important also and society to have models. she was 9 years president in finland. she went to kindergarten and ask kids with the wanted to be when they were older. the typical answer -- firefighter, doctor, lawyers. she asked a little boy, do you not want to be president of
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finland? he said, not in this country. man cannot be president. all his life he has seen a woman in the presidency. in my culture, ambitious camby positive force depending on how you use it for. we have an opportunity now. in june we have the highest level summit on not only climate change, but sustainable development, social economy -- social economics. we are working very strong to make a reality all of these political can correct statements. we are working very strong. we will have a high level --
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female head of government and also -- we need men and women working hard for women's rights. >> on the problem of women in thailand. the first thing, we have to go back to the root cause of the problem. education must be in place to give them the chance to study and equalize between male and female. we have to bridge the gap. we said of the foundation of female -- it is the first thing that helps feed mills on financials. they needed to survive themselves.
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this is the first thing that our foundation starts to help women advance on the financial. give them the opportunities to get the knowledge and held them. the female youth, i think this is small importance. -- this is important. education for females. last thing that we need to keep the role of everyone to understand the underneath -- as a female myself, i can say as long as we give opportunities to them, of course men and female
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must complement together. the qualifications for capability of the job is even more important. that we cannot separate between men and female. it should be equalized. we have to give the chance for both male and female and politics, especially in thailand. it will be symbolic of nonviolence. i think if we have a proper person of male and female mixed together so we can fulfil things -- e-mail cannot do better than female -- female cannot do better than male and some areas.
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move thailand for for consolation in a peaceful way for my country. >> thank you. [applause] >> i have to also say, you speak better english than i do. we will take maybe a couple of more questions, and then we will try to answer them collectively. we are running low on time. >> thank you very much. i am from kenya. i want to agree that the socialization of children, we treat them differently. whatever differences created in the home, it takes effect for a long time.
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we are still searching for those women to come forward in spite of the fact they have given us a greater number of women. i wanted to ask, how did you deal with the socialization early in the years? you say that you have them at this level. how did you deal with it? >> i must say, there is no ambition gap in this audience. i would like to encourage other questions. we will take a few questions and address them together. >> they brought out the subtext of the violent abuse that really permeates the life of the poorest women in the world.
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what are some signs of hope that work in that area? >> i am very interested in sex election and how this very fundamental on choosing of girls before they can even prove themselves and provide models for other women in the world -- how does that affect you? >> let's take those questions. also, just to mix it up a little i will throw in one more. the question i would like to throw out is whether a world in which there is greater gender parity would look particularly different. it always strikes me that the strongest and best advocates i know for greater equality are not bleeding heart columnists, not any of us here, it is the
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hard bitten american generals in afghanistan. more girls are going to school in a particular district, there will be fewer attacks on soldiers there. you get these general sitting around a conference table. in one moment there are talking about air strikes, and in the next they are talking about trying to get more girls in school. they know the difference it will make for security in afghanistan. you andt we start with work our way back. would this work look different and be different? >> i started my career working at the world bank and i worked on leprosy in india. the saying in the early 1990's was, you have to make sure the money goes to the women. the women will spend it on their children and men will spend it on whiskey and other women. the data is pretty clear that women spend 90% of their income on children and with men it is
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something like 30% to 40%. i think it will be a difference. i think it would be a more peaceful world. if you ask her what needs to change, she is very clear. she says women in power. women and power do not have guns and they do not rate people. i also would say we might as well try it. -- women and power do not have guns and they do not have -- they do not rape people. warrant buffett has famously said one of the reasons he has succeeded so much in life is he only had to compete with half of the population. why not use the talents of the entire population to address a very considerable needs that the world has? [applause] >> for me, i go back to my original point.
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the world bank, they came up with a study that shows there is a direct correlation between growth in gdp and greater gender parity. if i look at it from global economy, it has to be better. >> thank you. >> first of all, early child education is very important. boy and girls learn and grow with the same valleys and opportunities. second and very important, look at text books, films, television. which are the images they are sending? and hours it was always the doctor was a man and the woman was a sexy woman with a short skirt. we changed all of this stuff and
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we put women and girls and a position of power. i think we need to look at it. many of families leave when they have a son, older parents stay with him. when they have a daughter, the daughter goes to court -- the daughter goes to live with their parents' house. what are the things we need to change so we can really have a better world for all? we would have a world without hunter, or poverty -- at least less hunger and poverty. hopefully more peaceful, and more equal and balanced. [applause] >> there is no question it would
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be a more peaceful world. other whothink of a matt carries a child for nine months in the womb happily saying i do not mind if this child becomes -- the women in and of themselves, those who bring to life and are nurturing and help
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us to becom more -- i will use the expression "the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world" is ture. it is true. i think men are amongst the most insecure creatures in the world. in order for us to compensate for this, we are macho. and yet, who are the people that
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we admire most --revere? it doesn't turn out to be the macho. you could say many things about mother theresa, but macho would not be one of them. even when you look at someone like gondi, it is a tough gentleness that is something that we -- i would hope before i go into the grave i might see a world which is more gentle, which is more caring, which is more sharing.
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in our country, we have an expression that a mother can share even the eye of a fly. women, generally, are those who nuture, who bring to life and who hold life together. and for goodness sake, we have teied for centuries. we have made a mess. let them try out. [applause] >> i would like to add that if women have more chance to be leaders, i think first on
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social, that is something the males don't have. you would see the world would have somebody caring for the children. this is a good combination between male and female. for the women to be more in the number of the leader, they can be both over private sector and government. female is more detailed and more concentrated. we need somebody who has the ambition, vision, and somebody to keep more detail and concentrate on the details. that is where i see the strength
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that the females have. the politics are nonviolent. angela merkel is a symbol of nonviolence. this is the world democracy. the passion of female can help the world and can help problems as long as we sit down and talk together. it is significant, we need somebody to help the country. it has more chance to female, we will have a chance to increase
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the stability of the country. >> i must say this panel addressed the question of whether greater female participation reduces violence. here we have a panel that is half female, and it is less violent and more civil than a lot of world economic panels. do you not think? i wrote said the central challenge of slavery and totalitarianism, it will be to achieve greater gender equality around the world. i would like you to think -- i would like you to join me in thinking this panel for a terrific discussion. [applause] thank you. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> next on c-span, president obama speaks of the groundbreaking of an african- american history machine -- national mall. presidential candidate mitt romney holds a campaign rally in arizona. tomorrow on c-span, the house democratic steering committee holds a hearing on women pose a real -- reproductive health. that is at 10:00 eastern time. also, the white house outlined its new internet privacy initiative. we will hear from white house secretary. live coverage is at noon eastern on c-span. >> we got started because there is a lot of conservative think tanks that were across issues,
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but the forecaster -- there had been no single progressive think tank that works on economic and domestic policy. >> neera tanden from the center for american progress on the washington, d.c. think tank. >> part of our job is to make the argument and the factual arguments, and the evidence based arguments behind their own views. i do think that sometimes when the facts do not argue for our position, we reexamine those positions. we fundamentally believe that the most important thing is to be right about what your views are. >> sunday night at 8:00 eastern on c-span's "q &a." >> today the smithsonian
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institution broke ground on the national museum of african american history and culture. speakers include president obama, laura bush, john lewis, and the museum's director. the national african american museum is scheduled to open in 2015. congress has pledged to provide half of the $500 million projected cost. this is one hour 40 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome phylicia rashad. [applause] >> good morning.
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it is indeed an honor and privilege to welcome all of you here today for this ground- breaking ceremony of the smithsonian national museum of african-american history and culture. this is a milestone. this is a milestone moment, not only for the smithsonian, but for the united states. today, we take the first step in creating an iconic building that will house something truly wonderful. a museum with the power to change hearts and minds and ultimately, the nation. something truly wonderful. a museum with the power to change hearts and minds and ultimately, the nation. your being here today speaks to your suppo of this spectacular effort. creating this museum has captured the attention of government, private citizens,
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and has also drawn on the commitment of corporate america, a community groups, and school groups. today, we salute this undertaking with extraordinary music and inspiring speakers, all in celebration of this moment and the american spirit. [applause] ♪ ladies and gentleman, the president of the united states and misses michelle obama. [applause]
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please remain standing for the presentation of the colors by the smithsonian institution office of protection services honor guard and the national anthem performed by denyce
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graves.
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♪ o, say can you see by the
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dawn's early light. what so proudly we hailed, at gleaming.ht's light whose broad stripes and bgiths t -- bright stars through the perilous fight. we watched itrts were so gallantly streaming. glare, thet's red bombs bursting in air, gave
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proof through the night that our flag was still there,. . o, say does that star-spangeled banner yet wave. o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave. ♪ [applause]
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>> please join me in welcoming the abyssinian baptist church. >> i adelighted to have been given this opportunity to say a word of inspiration concerning the national museum of african american history and culture. african-americans -- what is africa to me? copper sun or scarlet see? jungle track or regal black? when men- women?
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three centuries removed from the land. spicy grove and cinnamon tree. wh is africa to me? i sing america. i am the darker brother. when company would come, ty would send me to the kitchen. that is all right. i was black and go to the kitchen. i would eat and grow fat. tomorrow, iould be at the table. company would come and they would e how beautiful i am. no one would ever send me to the kitchen again. yes, i sing america. my country ties of thee. sweet land of liberty. of the icing. this may be the land of the pilgrim's pride, but it is also the land where my brothers and fathers died. let freedom ring. [applause] yes, let freedom ring. ring for the jaunty -- the aruba.
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dream of a world where man -- global breast the earth -- love will bless the earth. all will walk in freedom's way. dream of a world where black or white, whatever race you become a willing to the bounty of the earth and everyone be free. credit -- wretchedness will shine its ugly head. of such a dream, our world. i have a dream today that everyone would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. everyone, the poor white -- everyone, the negro. everyone, the red man pushed from deland. everyone, the immigrant.
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oh yes, america was never america for me, but yet i swear this oath. america will be an america is becoming because so many brave men and women have fought to preserve the integrity of the land of belfrey and the home of the brave. -- bed linen of the free and the home of the brave. -- the land of the free and the home of the bce. -- brave, . the 369th harlem hell fighters. the tuskegee airmen. america, america made by gold refid and tell our success --
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barack obama in the white house. until all success, martin luther king jr. on the national mall. to all success, the national museum of african-american history and culture. every game divine. peace be unto you. god bless america. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome stanley thurston. [appuse]
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>> music from the church has touched hearts and stirred souls for generations. it has sts in times of trouble and inspired the weary to do great and noble things. today, the heritage signature chorale will perform a landmark liturgical work, "my soul is angered in the lord." -- anchored in the lord."
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♪ in the lord. in the lord. my whole being anchored in the lord. my soul has been anchored in the lord. inhe lord. my soul has been anchored in the lord. in the lord. my soul has been anchored in the lord.
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ahcnored inhas been -- anchored in the lord. in the lord. in the lord. my lord. my soul has been anchored in the lord ♪ ♪ in the lord. my lord. my soul has been anchored in the lord. god almighty. been anchored in
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the lord. highly a. -- hallelejuah. my soul has been anchored in the lord ♪ [applause] >> souls during, indeed. -- soul-sitrrintirring, indeed.
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creating this museum is a grand endeavor. a grand endeavor in the visionary leadership of this country with courage and willingness to dream big. such a leader has been guiding the development of this museum for six years. his efforts have brought us this moment and his guidance will take us to the day when the national museum of african- american history and culture opens its doors on this spot. please welcome the founding director of this museum, kibbue bybcg -- lonnie bunch. [applause] >> thank you. what a grand and glorious day.
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they said it was going to snow. [applause] president and misses obama, members of congress, the smithsonian area, the presidential commission, the council, distingshed guests, and your friends. i amonored and humbled to welcome you to this ground- breaking ceremony for the newest museum of the smithsonian institution, the national museum of african-american history and culture. i just love to say that. [applause] your presence today is a clear reminder of the unflagging support and leadership that you are provided today. we are at this moment. we have come this far, not by faith alone, but because of your belief in the importance of this museum. while there are too many donors and supporters to name, i want
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you to know just how much the smithsonian appreciates the support of president obama, the congress, and of all the corporations, foundations, and individuals in communities across america who have given so much to make this moment possible. i especially want to awknowledge the council of the museum that is co-chaired by two members. you believe when there was not much to believe in. we are so grateful for your leadership. [applause] today, in the words of washington d. public lewis alexander, we call lost dream back. we begin to make manifest on this sacred space the dreams of
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many generations who fought for and believed there should be a place in the capital that will help all americans remember and honor african-erican history and culture. equally important to this vision was the need to make a better all who visit the national museum by using afrin american culture as a lens to more clearly understand what it means to be an american. so, with groundbreaking -- we market a major milestone. this museum must tell the unvarnished truth because this will be a museum that will have moments to make one cry or to ponder slavery and segregation. it will also be a signature museum, designed by a gifted
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architect of that source on the resiliency of a people. -- that soars on the resiliency of the people. it will remind us that there are few things as powerful as a people. a naon. there is nothing better than honoring all our ancestors by remembering that reverse history of america. as with any endeavor of this sort, it has not been without challenges in difficult moments. the support has come from unexpected quarters. a man shined shoes in a texas airport to said to me, while he is unsure exactly what would be in a museum, he hopes it would be in his word open-" -- "the only place where his
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grandchildren learn about his life." the woman who cleans the museum reminded me that she is tired and able to retire, but she wants to continue to work so she can claim at the museum. -- clean the museum. [applause] i would be remiss if i did not think the entire smithsonian family for helping this museum make a way out of no way. the leadership -- i want to nod to patty for all our support. -- her support. [applause] i want to awknowledge the gift of the national museum of african-american history and culture. [applause]
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while i may stand ifront of you, they do the work to make all things possible. during the great depression, historians were hired by the federal government to interview formerly enslaved african americans. toch when asked if the experience of being in slaved still mattered, he answered, though the slavery question excels, the race question will be with us always. ideas on our highways. it is in our religion. it is in our thought. all the day, every day. what a gift you have all given by helping to burst this museum so that everyone who visits will realize that we are all touched, shaped, and enriched bafrican- american history and culture all day, every day. q i very much.
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-- thank you very much. [applause] >> please welcome the mayor of the district of columbia, vincent gray. [applause] >> good morning. not to worry, we have decreed it that wou be no more snow in the district of columbia, ever. [laughter] it is my honor to greet you on this suspicious occasion here in our great city. you have gathered here today to break ground on the site at will provide the foundation much more than just another new building in washington, d.c. today's groundbreaking is a milestone that fulfills the dreams and airations of many generations and honors all of those on whose shoulders we stand at this point.
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this is a museum for all americans. it will celebrate every american story, not just black history. the fact that the museum will be completed in 2015 is significant. because, that year, we will celebrate the anniversary of two significant events in our nation's history. 2015 will mark both the 150th anniversary of the constitutional abolition of slavery and the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act of 1965. [applause] the 13th amendment fundamentally change our cotitution and our nation. the voting rights act allowed america to fulfill its promise. one of the great african- american leaders who helped guide our nation to live up to its own creek now has a monument dedicated to him, not far from
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here. just last month, we celebrated dr. martin luther king jr's birth. a few months ago, we dedicated hisemorial. another national monument that was a long time coming. his dream was that we could all come together to make our nation and our world a better place. his message was not for one racial group, but for all people of all backgrods, ethnicies, and creeds. this museum will be a tangible manifestation of dr. king's dream. as the mayor of a city that is central to the story of freedom for all americans, i eagerly anticipate the completion of the national museum of african- american history and culture. i am proud of the district of columbia for being its home. thank you very much. i look forward, as all of you
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do, to 2015 where we will reconvene for the official opening of our new museum. thk you very much. [applae] >> we all know that the smithsonian institution is a place of learning. it is a place where history, art, and culture comes alive in a vibrant way. helping to make sure this has happened is a force behind the annual folk life festival, which draws more than 1 million people to the national mall 4of glory this week's -- ford two glorious weeks. he helps guide the work of the history and culture museum, including the one for which we are breaking ground today.
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it gives me great pleasure to present at the smithsonian's undersecretary for history, art, and culture. [applause] good morning. -- >> good morning. only once in a generation have citizensn leadership of this country gathered to sink a shovel into the ground of this national mall to establish a museum, a library, an archive, or gallery. let us reflect on the history that we -- leaves -- leads us here today. in fruary of 1862, with the civil war raging, the smithsonian hosted a series of abolition reflections.
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president abraham lincoln, leading officials, and audiences attended. newspaper coverage assured of the nation knew about these elections. their aim was to convince the president to end slavery. week after week at the smithsonian, people spoke. frederick douglass, the gre american auditor, -- or a tour, was scheduled to give comments. such were the divisions in america that joseph henry, science adviser to the president, said, i will not allow a black man to speak in the rooms of the smithsonian. frederick douglass was denied his place in the national museum. the irony was that the
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secretary's most reliable staff member was an african-american poet, self educated scientist. he built the exhibits. he made the -- he served for 54 years. many other followed ground. they developed programs to leave the institution. the historical record is checked. notably, in 1891, the smithsonian's nationals to open its grounds to african- americans on easter monday, given that the community was not allowed to participate in the celebrations on the white house floor. well into the 20th century, curators purposely excluded african-american history. in 1947, the dependence of christian tried to integrate the
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collections by donating the medal of honor this black won.er had one -- they were rebuffed until the secretary of the smithsonian intervened. in 1968, many advised closing the smithsonian museum to keep the people out. the secretary did the opposite. keeping the doors open extra hours in order to let everyone in. we have come a long way since joseph henry uttered those words. we cannot change what he said, but we can correct it. with this building, we can proudly say, frederick douglass's words will be heard in the rooms of the smithsonian. [applause]
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so, too, will the voices of millions of others. this museum makes for more of the inclusive -- and inclusive smithsonian and america. this is good for this country and the world. the co-chairs of the advisory council have played key leadership roles in assuring that we hear that many compelling voices of our nation's history. please give a warm welcome. [applause] >> on behalf of the advisory council of the smithsonian's
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19th museum, the national museum of african-american history and culture, we would like to extend our appreciation for you sharing this incredible moment with us. we would like to thk all our founders. it is an honor to celebrate with president obama and mrs. obama. a fabulous honor. [applause] your all dignitaries. i would like to make mention that the district representatives are here as well as some many of our great reporters -- suppoers and distinguished guests. all of you have helped achieve this milestone. one of thehings i would like to do, because nobody gets anything done by themselves or even with a beautiful partner.
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we have a council that has been with us on this journey and with lonnie. i would like them to stand and receive your applause. [applause] if i can be allowed one moment for personal reflection before i turn it over to linda. this of the victims of this date to me. -- the significance of this date to me. history is written by the women. history is written by the women. to me, the reality of this museum puts in! exclamation mark that after
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400 years of tragedy and turmoil and turbulence, we won. [applause] >> well said. as members of this council, we have had the pasure of witnessing a vision take place. this will encourage us to remember, reflect, and rejoice. one that will help us better understand the whole, optimism, strouble, determination, and triumph of the american story. today, we will break ground for a museum that has been a long time in the making. i am delighted to introduce one of the champions that made it a reality. congressman john lewis is a symbol. the last surviving speaker from the 1963 march on washington and a hero of the civil rights era.
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in february 2011, john lewis received the presidential medal of freedom. the nation's highest honor. [applause] he sponsored the legislation in the house of representatives to establish this museum. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the honorable john lewis. [applause] >> good morning. >> good morning.
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>> thank you, window for those kind words of introduction. --thank you, linda for those kind words of introduction. what we witnessed today it will go down in history. it is the substance and validation of our dreams. it is the moment our people protested, strouble, and longed for. it is the moment millions of our ancestors believed in. it is that point of critical mass when an idea become so powerful, it leaves the rims of inspiration and becomes visible, even to the untrained eye. this is an idea whose kind -- time has come.
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when i think about all it took to reach this point, the civil war veterans who took up the calls many decades ago and the long years of silence -- what i think about the plane crash that killed one champion from rural alabama who spent more than half of his congressional career introducing the museum to you only to have it end in the back partisan effort -- in a bipartisan effort. this reminds me of the words of one of my favorite poets, langston hughes. the name of the poem is harlem. he says, "what happened to a
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dream deferred? does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? infected like a sore? maybe it just sags like a heavy load." today, we must think the white house and the congress -- think the white house and congress. the smithsonianoard of regents, the secretary, the director of the national museum of african-american history and culture. in the entire staff. -- and the entire staff. it is these people whoave taken a dream deferred and help it find it placed -- its place in history.
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this is the beginning. there is still much work to do. we must not shrink. we must call upon the courage of those who were in the strouble long before any of us were born. -- in the struggle before any of us were born. have to tell the story of african-american contribution to this nation's history from slavery to the present. it without anger or apology. the problem we face today makes it clear there is still a great deal of pain that needs to be healed. the story told in this building can speak the truth that has the power to set the nation free.
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i look forward to lonnie bunch. i look forward to the day wre i can search through bid archives, participate in the programs, rest my tired feet in the cafe -- [laughter] and the inside the granite walls of the history whose time has finally come. we did not give up. we did not get lost in a sea of despair. we kept our faith. we kept our eyes on the prize. thank you. [applause]
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>> thank you. inspiring. it gives me great pleasure to introduce to you another rewned supporter of the new museum. governor sam brownback served 14 years in the senate prior to becoming the governor of kansas. his commitment is based on his deep commitment to human rights. while in the senate, he called on the u.s. to condemn the genocide in sudan and introduce legislation to ban him and trafficking around the world. governor brown back sponsored the legislation in the senate to establish this museum. please join me in welcoming governor sam brownback. [applause]
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>> what a great honor -- what a great honor to be here with yo is is a momentous occasion and i am proud to be a part of it. in kansas, we have a sense of history and destiny. we are one of the few states that was formed for a cause. our cause was to end the barbaric practice of slavery. john brown was one of our most famous residents. the president was also a resident of kansas, at one time. john brown's legacy is a mix of ghteousness, violence, and zealotry. his cause was the undoing of the enormous crime of slavery. before he was executed for treason, he spoke these haunting words.
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"i, john brown, and now certain that the crimes of this deal to land will never be seen -will never be purged away but by blood. " a great deal of blood was shed. the nation had a long way to go before we could realize the goals laid forth in our founding documents. blatant bigotry, a casual disrespect, and an ever-present disregard to the dignity of african americans was the role and not the exception in our land. this even after legal segregation was ended. after dr. king marched on washington. after rosa parks refused to give up her seat. after those three shots rang out in memphis and another american poet and profit was called home to be with the lord. the african-american people have experienced the worst of our
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ortcomings as a nation. the shortcomings ofustice. compassion. humanity. this museum will allow the culture and the identity of the african-american people to be celebrated as one that chet these unconscionable circumstances, met unparalleled challenges, and rose to an unimaginable achievement. the groundbreaking of this museum could not be more timely. some good cynically see it as an attempt to gloss over the sins of the past or to pay back the injustices. it is neither of those things. it is a celebration of a uniquely american triumph of will. to consider this museum and airing of grievances is to sell its georgia. it is -- sell it short. it is a celebration of the triumph of the african american
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people. [applause] this museum cannot be for caucasian grandchildren to see how awful the crimes of the password. or for the african-american children to see how their past was treated. this is to see that triumph of great americans. [applause] in 1957, dr. king wrote these words -- "the end is reconciltion. the end is redemption. the end is the creation of the beloved community. we are one step closer to that vision today. god bless you all an thank you for being there. [applause]
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>> learning american history through listening to music could be considered a short cuts. that is unless the teacher is the star, thomas hampson. then, it is being transported. he is revered for his interpretation. he has long been an advocate of american songs. he graces this celebration with works by two american composers. [applause]
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♪ ♪ morning angel, silence your way and raise your head from
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your hands. weeping angel, on your pinions trailing -- the white dove stands. weeping angel, -- ♪ ♪ morng angel, silence your way and raise your head from
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your hands ♪ [applause] the gift to be simple. tis the gift to be free. tis the gift to come down where u ought to be
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and when we find ourselves in a place just right, it will be in the valley of love and the like. we shouldn't reshape -- turn. ♪ tis the gift to be simple. tis the gift to be free. tis the gift to come down where you ought to be. when we find ourselves in a place just right, it will be in the vaey of love and delight.
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♪ [applause] >> lady sentiment, returning to new -- to you, lonnie bunch. >> as i mentioned, this museum is because of a wonderful array of supporters. i want to it knowledge our youngest donors. -- awknowledge or young as donors. when students learned ofhe
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museum, they started an effort entitled to make a change with change. last year, the students collected $600 inclines to esent to the museum. -- in coins to present to the museum. [applause] today, they are here with their second gift. please welcome them. thank you. [applause] [laughter] [applause]
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[laughter] [applause] >> as we say in my neighborhood, cash makes no enemies. let us be friends. [laughter] i am so moved by that. i want to thank them so much. it join me in thanking the montessori school. [laughter] >> generosity comes in all sizes. no list of american composers is complete without the name
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edward kennedy ellington. duke ellington. he called his music, american music, not jazz. brethren jazz. he gave america memorable music for more than 50 years as a composer and a band leader and a piist. there is one pianist that keeps the ellenton legacy alive. his name is jason moran. last summer he walked away with three major awards be -- best pianist, jazz album of the year, and artist of the year. today he is performing the ellington classic, "i like the sunshine." please welcome jason moran. [applause]
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♪ ♪
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♪ [applause] >>hat was jason moran.
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the smithsonian magazine recently dubbed him "keeper of the keys." after that rendition "i like the sunrise," i think we all know why. [applause] thank you. every day millions experience the wonder of the smithsonian. children engage with timeless artwork in all of its museums. teachers spark the fascination of teenagers with science lessons. researchers navigate the badness of the ocean and explore the biodiversity of panama. guiding is d wayne clough.
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he is overseeing a program which includes the construction of the smithsonian's 19th museum. we are breaking ground today. [applause] with a doctorate in civil engineering from the university of california, he was president of the georgia institute of technology in atlanta. as head of the smithsonian since 2008, he has put the smithsonian's attention into what he calls for a grand challenges. -- four grand challenges. unlocking the mysteries of the universe, valuing world cultures, d understanding the american experience. it is with honor that i present
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to you, dr. wayne clough. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you very much. thank you for that ry kind introduction. wow. what a beautiful day. it is an honor to be here with president obama, mrs. obama, all of these distinguished guests and wonderful friends who are here. it is a remarkable day. at the smithsonian we strive to provide a way for america to see the world and indeed the world can see america. today that picture comes sharply into focus. the national museum of african- american history and culture ads essential chapters to the american story. voices silence in the past will be heard here, and now, and in the future.
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we realize this dream thanks to the generosity of the administration, congress, and the american people. working together, we bring americans -- america's treasures to americans across the country, around the world, and best of all, it is all free. [applause] no inflation here. [applause] when this was started, there was a staff of exactly two. no concrete had yet been poured for this museum, but lonnie had created a strong foundation for it because today he is more than 20,000 artifacts. in addition to education programs and a vibrant exhibitions, in 2015, visitors will witness the hisry when this new building opens its
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doors to america and the world. it will join our 18 other smithsonian museums which tell the stories of all of the people who made this country great. our existing museums and this secretary will support lonnie and this museum. allowing us to fully speak to african-american's contributions to art, history, culture, and science. many call this the edit -- the museum advisory council. and fo helping bring all of this project to fruition. we are honored to welcome president mrs. obama. thank you for being with us. [applause] thank you so much for encouraging many smithsonian initiatives. we are here thanks to the
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leadership of many. president and mrs. bush were essential. local officials made it haen. this was a bipartisan effort, echoing this museum's message of unity. what a magnificent location to view the powerful symbolism. it is a fitting home for this museum, invoking the thread of the american tapestry. even as we break ground on the national mall, i want to make sure the entire country watching our web cast and we reach way beyond the nation's capital. if you cannot come to us, we come to you via a new technology and our 170 locations around the country and our traveling locations. so that the teachers and students were watching, imagine your school in a few years and what you might receive in terms of information from this museum.
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maybe a hologram of martin luther king might walk right of the steps of the lincoln memorial and into your classroom. but we do not have to wait for the future. we have the world in the palms of our hands today. that is where you'll find the missing bone in -- where you'll find the smithsonian. we add to the voices that inspire us to recall the past and eliminate the presence and ensure a better future for all. thank you very much. [applause] thank you. [applause] so please welcome valued friend to this smithsonian, and one of the dedicated council member, mrs. laura bush. [applause] >> thank you, all. thank you everybody. thank you very much.
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thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you for that introduction and good morning to everyone. good morning president and mrs. obama. director lonnie bunch and all of our distinguished guests and everyone who joined for this important location. it is especially fting that we are dedicating this plot of land on our national mall for a museum that remembers, reveres, and celebrates the great struggles and even greater contributions that african- americans have made to our nation's history. just down the road from here, both the white house and the capital were built in part by the labor of african american slaves. we do not know most of their names, but they left a lasting legacy in the bricks and stones
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and beautiful craftsmanship that now houses our democracy's most of vital institutions. hear, too, in this city is where a young congressman named abraham lincoln was horrified by the sight of a slave pens standing near the grounds of the capital. a year later president lincoln would sign the transforming emancipation of proclamation. here is where the great abolitionist, fredrick douglas, came to offer counsel to lincoln. it was welcomed by the president into the white house. here on this very mall is where the rev. martin luther king, jr., stood and cheered his dream of a nation where we are all measured by the content of our character and where we join togeth at one table, the table of brotherhood. here in this city is also where
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prident lyndon johnson fought for and signed the landmark civil rights act of 1964. today, african-americans helped lead our nation in all facets of life from government to the military to the law from business to the arts to medication. this museum will share those stories and pay tribute to the many lives known and unknown that have so immeasurably reached our nati. the fabric of american history and culture began as a bipartan effort through legislation sponsored by joh lewis and max cleveland. my husband, president bush, was proud to sign it into law in 2003. and to envisn the museum to be
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built on the mall where we honor artists, inventors, explorers, soldiers, and statesman. i am particularly proud of the museum's vision which is dedicated not simply to this building, but also to reaching out to communities around the nation. the museum has already begun traveling exhibitions and artifact preservation programs. it is a museum dedicated to welcoming all americans, whether or not they will be able to travel to washington, d.c. i am glad, too, that this building will stand next to the monument to our firstresident, george washington. a man who fought for liberty and two came to recognize the evil of bondage, freeing his slaves in his will. side by side, these two spots are symbolic of our own national journey. for the stories that will be
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preserved within these walls, the stories of suffering and perseverance, of darien, of imagination, and of triumph are the stories of african americans. but there also stories that are for ever woven through the heart of the fabric of our nation. thank you all and god bless you all. [applause] >> is my honor to introduce a friend, a scholar, a two-time this is, and morris apparently,
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a new chair of the smithsonian board and my boss, christopher dolas. [applause] >> mr. president, mrs. obama, honored guests, good morning. on behalf of the board, i would like to welcome all of you here to this incredible ceremony. i would like to also congratulate the council of american history and culture. the museum's dedicated staff and the founding director, lonnie bunch on achieving this historic milestone. [applause] that we are breaking ground for the construction of the museum's permanent home is a testament of a shared vision and hard work. in 2003 they were honored when
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congress passed and bush signed legiation establishing the national museum of african- american history and culture within the smithsonian. since that time, the regents have made opening the museum our number one priority. the legislation also passed regents with want to be particularly relevant to our gathering today. we were asked to six -- to select the site for the new museum. over the course of two years, we listen to a passionate discourse on the museum through public town halls and on the internet. we consulted closely with the museum council and other stakeholders. we considered a number of attractive alternatives, but in the end, our decision was easy. we recognize that the story of african-american culture and history is essentiato the
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story of america. it is a story that we believe can be best told from america's front yard -- the national mall. here, at the foot of the national monument. next to the museum of american history, in view of the capital, and within blocks of the white house. sometimes location is indeed everything. this side underscores the smithsonian and the nation's commitment to telling the whole american story. as a scientist and educator, i was taken with some recent photographs of president obama hosting students at a science fair at the white house. by opening the white house doors to outsnding young student scientists, the president sends an important and inspiring message to young americans.
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that science and learning are critical to the future of this nation and a top priority for us all. [applause] since 1846, the smithsonian has been opening its doors to scientists, artists, or those just seeking to learn more about themselves, the nation, and the world. we are grateful to the president and mrs. obama for their inspiring support of education, the smithsonian, and it's wonderful and important new museum. it is now my great honor and privilege to welcome the president of the united states. [applause] >> thank you. [applause]
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thank you. thank you so much. [applause] thank you so much. [applause] thank you very much. [applause] good morning, everybody. i want to thank france for that introduction and for her leadership at the smithsonian. i want to thank everybody who helps make this day happen. i want to thank laura bush, secretary salazar, sam, my hero, congressman john lewis, wayne clough, everyone who is made this possible. i am so proud of lonnie who came here from chicago, i want to
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point out. [applause] i remember having a conversation with him about this job when he was starting to embark on an extraordinary journey. i cannot be more proud of the work he has done. i promised to do my part by being briefed. as others have mentioned, this day has beea long time coming. the idea for a museum dedicated to african-americans was first put forth by black veterans of the civil war. years later the call was picked up by members of the civil- rights generation. by men and women who knew how to fight for what is right and prescribe for what is just. this is their day. this is your day. it is an honor to be here to see the fruits of your labor. it is also fitting that this museum has found a home on the national mall.
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as has been mentioned, it was on this ground long ago that lives were once traded. where hundreds of thousands once marched for jobs for freedom. it was here that the pillars of our democracy were built often by black hands. it was a long piece -- it was along the spite of the monuments for those who gave birth tthis nathan -- for this nation, those who worked to perfect it. the generation will sometimes remembered difficult, often inspiration, but always central roles that african-americans played for this country. this museum will celebrate that history. our earliest days have been confined to dusty letters and faded pictures. the time will come when few people remember drinking from a colored water fountain.
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or boarding a segregated bus. or hearing in person dr. king's voice from the lincoln memorial. that is why what we blt here will not be an aievement from our time, but will be a monument for all time. it will do more than simply keep those memories alive. just like the space museum challenges to set our sights higher or the national museum encourages us to look closer or the holocaust museum calls for us to fight persecution wherever we fd it. this museum should inspire as well. to stand as proof that the most important things in life rarely come quickly or easily. it should remind us that although we have yet to reach the mountaintop, we cannot stop climbing. that is why in moments like this i think about my
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daughter's. i think about my daughters and i think about your children. millions of visitors who will stand where we stand a long after where -- long after we are gone. i think about what i want them to experience. i think about what i want them to take away. when our children look at harriet tubman's shaw or the plane flown by a -- , i do not want them to be seen as figure somehow larger-than-life. i want them to see how ordinary americans can do extraordinary things. how men and women just like them had the courage and determination to right a wrong and make it right. i want my daughters to see the shackles that bound us slaves on their voyage across the ocean
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and the sharp glass that flew from the 16th street baptist church and understand that in justice and evil exists in the world. but i also want them to hear a learn about the negro league and read the poems. i want them to appreciate this as not just a record of tragedy, but as a celebration of life. when future generations hear the songs of pain and progress and struggle and sacrifice, i hope it will not think of them as somehow separate from the larger american story. i want them to see it as a central part of our shared story. a call to remember that each of us is made in god's image. that is the history we will
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preserve witn these walls. the history of a people who, in the words of dr. king, it injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization. may we remember their stories. may we live up to their example. thank you, god bless you, and god bless the united states of america. [applause] >> at this time i would like to invite the groundbreakers to
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gather at the steps of the stage here. once you are ready with your instruments. [laughter] i would like to invite everyone to join me in the countdown. 5. 4. 3. 2. 1. breaground. [applause]
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>> for the finale, it will be led by combined choirs. accompanied by the u.s. navy band. we also have -- we also ask our guests to come and join us. let's welcome to the sta denise and thomas. [applause]
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♪ ♪
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♪ of a new day begun march on till victory is won ♪ ♪ stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod lt in the days when hope
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unborn had died yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet come to the place for which our father's signed ♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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lest our feet, stray from the places our god where me met thee lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee shadowed beneath thy hand, may we forever stand true to our god, true to our native land ♪
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen. please stand as the president and first ladyepart. [applause]
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>> before i say goodbye, would you please join me in honoring the wonderful work done today by phylicia rashad. [applause] well, there was supposed to be a voice of god, but you have to
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settle for me. [laughter] please enjoy yourself. were having a reception and, again, let me thank you very much. this means a great deal to dismiss any that you came, that you care, and that you are a part of this. thank you all very much. [applause]
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>> on c-span tonight, the wilson center hosts a discussion about iran pose a nuclear program and a potential for war in the least. candidate mitt romney holds a campaign rally in minnesota -- minnesota. and, the world economic forum in davos about women in leadership roles. the republican presidential candidates debated tonight. on tomorrow's "washington journal," tucker carlson joins us. then, look at president obama's plan to reduce the tax rate down to 20% while closing loopholes. we will talk with rebecca
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wilkens. -- wilkins. we will discuss the agreement between the u.s. and mexico to work together on drilling in the gulf of mexico. our guest is loren steffy. "washington journal" is live on c-span every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> at the 1968 olympic games, james carlos and tommie smith raised their son -- their fists in the black power salute. >> this is black power. the intimidated so many people by using that phrase, black power. when they use that phrase, it made many people think that black power meant destruction, blowing up the statue of liberty, ground zero, destroying america. it is not about destroying america. it is about rebuilding america and having a new paradigm in terms of how we can truly be what each and everyone of us --
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when we were going to elementary school and junior high school about the land of the free and the home of the brave. we all wanted to be brave americans. we found something was wrong, something was broken. we wanted to take time to evaluate and then take our initiative to fix it. >> discover more about african- american history during black history month on booktv on c- span2 and online at the c-span video library. search and share from over 25 years of c-span programming at c-span.org/videolibrary. >> hi, there. lcv ead of the c-span content. it is local content vehicle. the purpose is to collect programming from outside of washington, d.c. how we do it? we staff each of these with one person with a small video camera
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and a lap top editor so they can roll, record, produce, and at it from the road. that is what we are doing. why? to get outside of washington, d.c., and collect programming for all of our networks. we are doing a cities to work. we will descend on each city with vehicles. one will do history programming. the other one will do book tv programming at bookstores. the third one does community relations. community relations events are important because we work with our cable partners in the cities. the last thing to know is all this knowledge goes on the air and then gets archived on our website, the video library. what we're also doing is doing extensive social media. you will see us on facebook. you will see foursquare. we tell people where we're going. you will see us on twitter as well. we can have our message on air and also online in social media
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as well. that is why it is important to get outside of washington, d.c., get into places we don't normally do programming, and make a commitment to produce programming for all the c-span network. >> what are vehicles next stop in shreveport, louisiana, the first weekend in march on booktv and american history tv. >> this wilson center for more on iran and the middle east included a former israeli deputy defense minister, who said that israel is not "trigger-happy" about attacking iran. the panel discusses the potential for nuclear-arms iran and how its neighbors and the u.s. should respond. jane harmon begins this 90- minute discussion. >> ok. good morning. i am jane harmon, the not-so-new
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president of the woodrow wilson center. almost a year now. time flies when you're having fun, and it is truly an honor to be the head of this extraordinary center. today's panel has attracted an enormous amount of press attention, as it should. the title of "israel, iran, and the arabs, a regional perspective." that is something we surely need. the presence of the press does remind me, however, that, as i think everyone here knows, a very highly regarded reporter and former wilson scholar lost his life in syria last week. just today, the news is that a noted journalist and her photographer have been killed. these are people who obviously put themselves at risk to bring us accurate information. the wilson center also endeavors
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to bring you and the press and policy-makers accurate information, obviously at less risk than those who are in war theaters. we think it matters enormously to use the convening power of this non-partisan institute to provide what we call a safe political space for people from different countries with different perspectives who can talk candidly and civilly, isn't that refreshing, but the important issues. that is what we intend to do today. i want to recognize the chairman of our board, joe. his wife is a member of our counsel. holly the director of our middle east program, the very capable director of our wonderful middle east program. aaron miller can defend himself in a few minutes.
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as a point of personal privilege, let me say a couple of things about one of the panelists and about the topic. in 1991, i made the decision to run for the united states congress. it was the first elected office i sought since junior high school treasurer, which i lost. someone suggested that i should tour the middle east, our region i dearly love to come and visit is subsequently 25 times as a member of congress, but while in israel, i was introduced to someone who was then a highly- decorated military personnel and medical doctor. it was his first time to run for the knesset. we have lunch in jaffa, at the promontory along the mediterranean, walking distance from downtown tel aviv. we talked about what it was like to run for office. we were both elected at the same
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time. we both laughed at the same time. he reminds me that he has a think tank now in israel, but he is not paid. it is voluntary. i guess it makes him a better person than i am. at any rate, it is interesting how the wheel turns. today, we will address the subject of basically iran and how those in the region see iran and, certainly speaking for myself, this is probably the most confusing and complicated time in foreign policy in my lifetime. it is a subject i studied carefully. the opportunity for mis the space calculation and mistake is huge. the mistakes -- miss acalculation -- miscalculation
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and mistake is huge. it is extremely important that at least we get our facts right. we can then have a different view of what to do. it is important that we get our facts right. let me just offer one bit of perspective and say, former long-time member of the house intelligence committee and the house of representatives homeland security committee, where i studied intelligence closely, intelligence is a prediction. it is not science. predictions can be wrong. we saw that the intelligence about iraq's weapons of mass destruction, which many people all over the world believed, not just a few people in the bush white house, i think that is an unfair hit, we saw that intelligence was dreadfully wrong. when you look at iran and you try to measure its capabilities and its -- think about it as a matrix, the information we have, not just we, the israelis, and
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others who are studying this, is likely to be imperfect. if you think the intelligence is imperfect, the views of policy- makers and policy-commentators is probably imperfect, too. the opportunity for mis calculation is compounded. it is important that a panel like this drill down as deeply as possible into the views of the different countries in the region and very knowledgeable commentators. again, remember that the opportunity for miscalculation is enormous. i will close with this. i think as we search for best dancers, we have to be mindful, or at least i believe, we have to be mindful of what the implications of a nuclear-armed iran will be, not just for the region, but for the world. i think they are huge. i applaud the fact, personally, that our administration and
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those in our congress dry red line ahead of nuclear-arms iran. drawing that red line and then figuring out how to make the red line stick is what the hard part is. i applaud the effort of the wilson center to try to bring new a very good conversation. i cannot think of anybody better than aaron david miller, who worked for six administrations so far. six secretaries of state. not six administrations. he is not that old. six secretaries of state so far. he writes and talks so knowledgeably on the issue. welcome to all of you. welcome to our audience and our broader audience. this is a time when it is important for the public to understand the facts. it is a big honor to head an institute that cares deeply
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about making sure we present the facts. thank you very much. [applause] >> jane, thank you very much. you have large shoes to fill in the wake of these departures. your intelligence, your experience has really begun to fill them. it is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you. welcome for your generosity in sponsoring and supporting these programs. welcome to all of you. today's panel, i am hopeful, will be as entertaining as it is going to be informative. woodrow wilson was our only ph.d. president. there is a reason for that. wilson was commited to the notion of breaking down the barriers and walls that separate the academy from government. he was right. we need the best of both worlds in order to come up with wise and judicious policy. i invoke his spirit here today.
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he may not have been the embodiment of his own fondest hopes, but i hope this spirit -- but i invoke his spirit today because we will need his help. the region is roiling with uncertainty and confusion. rarely has american influence been as constraint in dealing with these problems. three in particular. i offer them as a way to, i guess, define and highlight some of the challenges that are facing the united states. number one is the problem with iran, which continues to suck all the oxygen out of the conversation. we have a budding crisis. there is no question about that. there's no good means to resolve it. second, the air of spring, arab winter come arab awakening. the changes are literally transforming the arab world as we know it.
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finally, the problem of the promised land, what to do about the israelis and palestinians, which has offered more process than peace and has shown the triumph of experience over hope. these three challenges need to be examined. that is precisely what our panelists are going to do today. they -- it does not take a profound bit of thinking to make the prediction that they are all going to be playing probably at the end of this year and well into the next administration. i will echo one thing jane has said. it is now time, i would argue, for cruel and unforgiving analysis. cruel and unforgiving analysis. we cannot base our policies just on the way the world this, because you must factor in how you want the world to be. america is not a potted plant. it does have influence.
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the risks of only basing your policy on the way you want the world to be rather than on the way it actually is is an rx for catastrophe and disaster, particularly for a great power. we have seen too much of that, when not enough thinking has been replaced by reckless and premature action. i don't think there are three better panelists that i could identify to grapple these issues today. all have had long and deep and rich analytical experience. they are all offers. they have had experience in and around government. they represent the best of this analytical tradition. one final point of housekeeping. they will each speak for 10 to 12 minutes. i will take the moderator's privilege of asking a question or two. then we will go to your questions. your questions, i hope, and i
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hope everyone will identify themselves, because we cannot afford nor do we want that i call station identification. that is to say, questions as questions. i will try to be cruel and unforgiving in exercising my power, such as it is, in trying to control that discussion and make sure that we have enough time for questions. each will address any or all of the three issues that i identified. if i am welcome, let's begin with you. >> thank you. it is important to make the distinction between the important and the -- the most important issue for israel is to reach a final agreement with the palestinians.
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it is because of the fact that this would finally define and shape and protect the character, the democratic character of israel. that is the most if you come to the essence of what this is all about. this is the most important. the most -- is to root reduce the stress of the iranian regime. how it is affected is mainly the most important issue. what we see in news is how three, four countries in the region are brutally fighting not about their identity, but preventing their fragmentation, whic his libya, iraq, syria,
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very soon lebanon. syria will spill over. in the broader sense is what we see is that from the border of china to the atlantic ocean, aret of the country'ies heavily influenced by the idea of political islam come in some cases, very radical islam. since the cold war, it is the first time -- is dominated by one ideology. now, the strongest emerging power of all these changes is that trend in political islam, which on theological, religious
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basis, denies the existence of the jewish state in the middle east and opposes compromise on this issue. this political power is most visibly embodied by the brothers in egypt, but this is only the most famous one. how it may affect the most important issue, the israelis and palestinians peace process. the changes, mainly in egypt, strengthen substantially hamas in the palestinian political arena, and it may bring about a situation that, in a year from now, it will be more difficult for abbas and the current palestinian state, which is the
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best partner israel could never have, to maintain their current position, especially if hamas will have that strong endorsement that they enjoy today. the readiness and ability of the palestinian leadership to be forthcoming or to maintain its current position might be in danger. what may happen? why is it important? because a year from now, two conditions which do not exist today may exist. one is another israeli government which is committed to reach agreement. today it is not the case. an american president who is not constrained by whatever he has
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to take under consideration in an election year. an american president which will be able, at the beginning of 2013, it is not to knock heads, but bring the two parties to march the extra inch, the inch that -- without which, they will never march. at the beginning of the next year, there is a possibility of new situations where israel and palestinian peace may be achievable if the leadership will survive. if we have to look for anecdotes to better understand the situation, you will for sure
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remember the scene in egypt when the agreement was about to be signed, and an arfat for some bizarre reason said, i am not signing. the secretary of state, all the regional and international leaders started to sign. president mubarak came to him and strongly, loudly whispered, sign, dog, sign. today, no one will say it to any leader, to sign a. -- to sign. mubarak is in a cage.
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now, here, i prefer in the few minutes i have, to make a few comments in the clearest way that i can. the first one, no one in israel is happy about iran. no one. we all know the repercussions. we all know the unavoidable prize for a military strike. but, almost all of us believe that in a certain situation, this price is worth paying, or that you don't have another choice. why? here is the second comment. there is no government in jerusalem which may accept nuclear iran. not only because of the philosophic argument that when a
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regime is committed to the destruction of israel, we cannot allow him to have the tools to do it, but because we have to think beyond the immediate horizon. from the moment iran has nucleardom, it is a matter of seven years that saudi arabia, egypt, and syria will have a bomb of their own. in those three countries come if we have, i will say, conditions which are, in a way similar to pakistan. as a serious knee. strong islamic influence.
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israel, my children and grandchildren will have to live in a region where we have one iran and three pakistans. no government in jerusalem has the right to the israel for our children. it is a strategic nightmare. and now my third comment, the real problem is not the nuclear project. the problem is the regime. left alone, the oppression at home.
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there is no other country that is so domestically kuril at home and brittle and aggressive outside. which country today after the cold war deploys missiles targeted -- the only country in the world where most of the population can go and live in shelters, and part of them already did soso. i speak about the israel perspective, although it is not only our problem.
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the problem is the regime with imperial ambitions and with no real inhibitions. this regime must be toppled. it happens so that the iranian people want this regime to be changed. not by military action, but by its own will. they want to live freely. military option is really the last resort.
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they need to impose the sanctions. they need to punish -- china, russia, countries that the five u.s. legislation. stop coddling the regime. engagement is a given state. they get at whose expense will it be? israel? the iranian people? the gulf countries? i advise all those -- the liberators and speculators of israel can do and will do, please assume that there is no
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operational problem if we cannot find operational solution. >> thank you very much. you have sharpened the arguments. we really appreciate that. >> thank you. as a lawyer i feel a compulsion to start with a caveat. we are talking about a changing situation. we are talking about a situation that nobody can predict. we should approach recommendations with a great deal of humility. with that said, i will start by saying the the outer world and a ron are not natural allies. on paper you see many points of tension between the two. the persian versus the arab.
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we sit the merging every now and then whether with the caribbean minority and pteron, it is something that is there. -- in tehrain. it is there. the more that you have the suni, dealing with the shiites becomes a vulnerability. finally, there is an issue of geopolitical aspirations. who is going to be the hegemon in the area? we see this exemplified and what everyone calls the persian gulf. it was what i was brought up to know as the arab gulf.
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these issues continue to define aspects of their relation. these are issues that transcend which are jim governs the area. -- which regime governs the area. they are more worried about a nuclear iran that a nuclear israel. israel's ability to influence arab politics is limited. iran with nuclear weapons is a bigger problem for arab government than a nuclear israel. this is true in jordan, egypt, and elsewhere. iran however saw to replace this narrative with a super narrative -- another directive that allows
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them access to the arab spring and arab public opinion. that is a narrative of resistance versus accommodation. through cultivating that includes iran, syria, and other palestinian organizations, they try to present a different narrative. this is resistance versus accommodation. this is a narrative that has good traction. as long as the anti-israel, anti-arab, anti-u.s. protest defines discourse. that was the case for a long time. the palestinian story, the headline is in the first page.
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this narrative suffered tremendously with the advent of the arab sprained. these narratives are no longer the main narrative in the arab spring. they are not dead. there are their simmering. at some point i would assume they would come back to the forefront. for the time being, they are not what defines the arab discourse. look at the arab media, you would see a palestinian issues rarely emerged. it is what is happening in syria and elsewhere. equally, the arab spring came back to expose some of the essentials that were laid tent over the past year. for example, iran blamed characterization of the arab
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spring is the islamic spring simply does not correspond. these arab movements, even though some of them are being coopted by the islamist movement was not initiated by the islamic movement and was not islamic in nature. there is a degree of disconnect between the messaging that made it more difficult to receive. this is compounded by iran's sectarian response to the arab spring. in the iranian plan which was blown out of proportion compared to what was going on in syria. syria in particular, i would say it is the. that made iran the the biggest loser in the arab spring. by supporting syria whose
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oppression is seen every day on tv screens, we see it in arabic media is much more disturbing. the fact that this regime is killing suny citizens, all of this reduced iran's influence and their ability to influence public opinion. in the palestinian case, this was particularly felt and affected in terms of where hamas is going and how they are managing the situation. hamas traditionally has been closely allied to iran. it was made possible by resistance.
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there were moments where the alliance reached tensions that were threatening to hamas. when saddam hussein was executed and the founder feel that called hamas a shiite organization. they maintain a sense of relationship specifically through the lens of syria. in this regard, syria really worked as a support operation. money and support come from iran to our arab brothers in syria to hamas. as you receive it, the support becomes clear. this filter no longer exists. i must find itself facing an unpopular alliance. iran does not popping as much
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money into hamas for mnay reasons including its lack of support of syria. this has hurt hamas. it forced them to start looking for another home. this in many ways explains what we see today. they are looking to try to find another place. the muslim brotherhood, they will not host hamas as long as they are involved in terrorism. issue to beant this the defining issue with the est. -- west. this tension though, it is still
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in many ways remains . the prime minister of hamas says we still have options in the region. by and large, we see a tension. we see it -- the trajectory of events is forcing hamas to find a place that they use -- the era of the spring weekend hamas' influence. this has not changed iran's military capabilities or its military options, but it has allowed some of the arab leaders
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to come in a more aggressive way with a more forgiving public opinion. i am talking about finding a silver lining in this cloud. i would say right now, as's influence is reduced and from a counter-terrorism pointed the. i would like to go back to where i started. i will conclude there. this is a snapshot. if things remain where they are today, iran's influence is reduced and we have a better way of managing the the iran ideological hegemony. what happens in israel is essential. the direction of the arab spring, where it is going, who will be in charge at the end of
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the day, is it anti american, how we in the united states approaches -- approach to these new relations. iran has always been much more flexible in its ability to support its friends in the region. after the 11 on war as we were -- and both scenarios present a potentially dangerous threat. an attack on israel or the united states could go one way
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and potentially create sympathy to iran. on the other hand, a nuclear iran would also affect the balance of power and start a nuclear race. i will conclude on a positive note. i will say until we see these things -- until these changes happen -- and it will not happen in a day or two, we have an opportunity to start bringing some of the influence and organizations that have been close to iran to a place that is more comfortable. as we.t believ hamas which should not compromise on our positions. thank you very much. i am looking forward to the discussion. >> thank you so much for those observations. >> he was so much.
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it is a great pleasure being here. i want to echo what the congresswoman said in the opening. woodrow wilson truly is quite amazing in creating the political space for conversations that you rarely find anywhere else. i feel very privileged to be on the panel to partake in the conversation. i am going to address two key issues that have not been touched upon. one is iran and the arab world in the aftermath of these recent uprisings, the other is the very interesting israel iran you s triangle. to preface, when you have significant changes, transformation as was mentioned earlier, taking place in the region, it forces all actors to take into account there are new moving parts. they have to put them into the new equations. figure out how they fit and they do not fit. you have to reassess our recalibrate their perspectives vis-a-vis their enemies and
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friends. it is something that is very interesting to analyze on how the perspectives -- the divergent perspectives between the united states and israel is taking place on the issue of iran. i will get back to that later. on the first issue of iran and the arab world, i think it was quite correct the way it was put that iran's basis for power in the region has taken a significant hit. it has taken a significant hit because of the way that these arab uprisings have developed. the iranians initially welcome this. i had hoped for it to happen. the thought that it would take place with a very strong anti- american component within it. so far we have not seen that. i think it is quite interesting to see that even though currently down what is happening in syria and the massacres that are taking place there, it is very visibly viewed on arab tv, that has caused a huge loss for
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the iranian influence and their soft power in iran. in a matter that unfortunately, the iranian government, their own impression by their own people did not. during that time in which that super narrative was still on the israeli palestinian issues and still on the perspective of the u.s. being too heavy-handed in the region, in that context the arab public opinion was not particularly affected by the way the iranian government was mistreating its own people. now, however, in the context of the new narrative, you see the sectarian diane mentioned -- sectarian dimension is having a negative effect for the iranians. they are counting on playing the long game in this. they're counting on the fact that we have seen in the region in the past periods in which
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arab regimes have embarked on extensive oppressions of their own populations. once that is over, the natural gravitation has been to go back to the narrative in which the israeli-palestinian issue is at the center. that is something that the iranian government very early since 1979 has try to perpetuate. it is through the palestinian issue, it is through political islam they have saw to bridge and divide in order to present iran as a potent canada for regional leadership. as others put it, it is viewed on the other side as iranian hegemonic aspirations. whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but i think it puts some urgency on the issue that he was mentioning earlier. as long as the israeli palestinian issue remains unresolved. as long as it remains a bleeding
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wound in the region, there will always be opportunities to bring the narrative in the region back to that. we will return to a scenario much more similar to what the arabefore uprising. i think it is quite interesting to take a look at how israel, the united states and israel have had very close perspectives on a run for quite some time. there has been in flute -- there has been quite sometimes when they have been at odds with each other. since the arab uprising, the divergence between the united states's perspective and israel oppose a perspective on a whole set of issues in the region have actually been quite interesting to observe. with obama coming into power embarking on diplomacy as was
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described as i eve from the israeli perspective, putting the israeli-palestinian issue back a little more into the center compared to what the bush administration did, and then the is -- and then the reaction of the handling of the arab spring are three issues in which the israeli american perspective have been divergent on. on the issue itself, it has been quite clear 24 hours after president obama won the elections in november of 2008, she was asked what she thought about it and the idea of the united states and iran is engaging in diplomacy. she said in this region there is a tendency -- there is a reality in which talking to your enemies can be seen as a sign of weakness. she was asked in a follow-up question whether israel supports obama's idea of engagement with iran.
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she said no, categorically. this became even more acute. from the israeli perspective, the key divergence. is what to do with the issue of enrichment and iran. if there is a successful negotiation, the most likely outcome of a negotiation is that there would be some limited level of enrichment left on iranian soil, obviously under very strict inspection. that in and of itself the israeli fear is it would permit iran to be a virtual nuclear power which would shift the balance in the region. it would have negative repercussions. administration had opted the 0 in richmond which
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was identical to the current israeli government. obama has kept this issue quite vague and ambiguous -- vague and am big u.s.. there is no statement from obama even to this day where he clarifies what his opinion is on enrichment. there is a statement that enrichment is unacceptable nor is there a statement where in richmond would be acceptable. here are a few fears on all sides. on the israeli side, there is a fear that the ambiguity is the americans accepting enrichment at the end of negotiations. the u.s. needs to adopt its position now to even get negotiations started. tehran would not come to the table if it was clear that the american position is not to come to the table. -- is not to accept enrichment.
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obama has tried engagement and the israeli government had a position that was quite clearly to make it more difficult, whether it was to push for a deadline of only 12 weeks for diplomacy. it is interesting, 20 years of sanctions did not work but diplomacy needs -- it may miraculously resolve this in 12 weeks. whether it was to push for sanctions before negotiations began. or whether it was the idea of obama not talking about all options being on the table. not taking any options of the table, but the obama administration in the early days of its engagement tactic wanted to pursue demilitarization of the narrative of the discourse in order to get the iranian guards down in order to be able to begin some proper negotiations.
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the israeli response was to do exactly the opposite, fearing that if there is one not -- if there was not a clear military option on the table, there would not the emphasis for the iranians to compromise. here you see a divergence of how they view it. these may not the radical or strategic, but at a technical level they have been quite problematic. we see that today. there is even higher pitch when it comes to the debate of whether israel will strike iran the, what the u.s. thinks about it. i think it has reached a certain level because it also has gone over into the american election campaign. what we have seen just in the last couple of weeks is how after the obama administration in the late summer of 2010 adopted an assumption that was very much supported by israel, it read that the only time the iranians have successfully agreed to compromise on the
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nuclear program has did when they have been faced with an endowment and a credible military threat. that was in 2003. the idea has been to ratchet up sanctions as well as military signaling to recreate the impression that such a military threat does exist. as a result, force the is for -- force them to face the options that they have tried to leave it for so long. the danger, of course, is that it creates a very explosive situation. the slightest spark can get a war that i do not think the obama administration and once to have, but the one to give the impression that it could happen. -- it does not want to have a, but they want to give the impression that it could happen. you could see it when there was
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the slightest fascination of a rather unimportant information about a person in the iranian government. for the first time secretary clinton went to the podium categorically denying any american involvement in this assassination. they condemned it as well. during the bush administration, there was no condemnation of terrorist attacks against iran. later on, there were statements issued of the hillary clinton going to the podium and saying it. the one to get the maximum leverage for a negotiation. they did not want to spill over into open conflict. one last point to give you an impression of how tense the tactical differences have become. two weeks ago, nbc reported that
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three american officials confirmed or give their assessment that israel is behind the assassinations. they're doing so in collaboration within the iranian terrorist organization which is on the u.s. terrorist list. this was quite explosive. it is pointing a finger at an ally. they have trips by dempsey back and forth. this open conversation about these differences is ultimately serving the interests of the running government according to israel. what are the solutions to be found? i am not going to even try to give you a solution within 12 minutes. let me point out that i think one of the positives that currently does exist here, i think the administration is quite clear on not wanting a military confrontation. they're not a situation similar
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to what existed a couple of years ago in which there were strong factions within the administration that actually favored it and were happy to see it develop in that direction. you have a situation now in which there is a deliberate strategy to try to force things to climax in order to get decisions to be made. there is no desire, at least not that i have been able to detect and washington in the administration for a military confrontation. thank you. >> let me make just a few observations and then go directly to questions. no. 1, i think it is quite clear that you are dealing with a situation in which there will be no solutions, no concrete determinative solutions. there is no diplomatic breakthrough between the u.s. and iran. i will get back to this in a minute. there may not be a direct military confrontation coming either. we end up back here like a
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cartoon. it is tom and jerry -- the cat and mouse trying to avoid the worst of both possible outcomes. however aeschylus' tory it may be, it is a better option than the alternative -- it is a better option than the alternative which is war. the arabs spring, the israeli issue, or iran's nuclear aspirations is not what i call conventional solutions. the military power that has come to characterize our diplomacy made up the well-suited to even producing a more constructive outcome, for get a solution. the problem is, the transformational approach, the bold and decisive initiatives are also extremely problematic.
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that meet -- that brings me to my second point. you have a president back into washington wanting to transform buffy domestic political environment and the trajectory of foreign policy. he has ended up -- i am not being critical here -- much more as a transaction. you could make an argument without being too critical that he has evolved into a much less ideological, much less reckless, much more disciplined diversion of his predecessor and the last several years of his predecessor's administration. surging afghanistan -- very tough policies on national security with creditor drowns, guantanamo, -- predator drones, guantanamo. he did not have an administration that is going to ask three basic questions --
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what do we want from iran that? what does iran want from us? how do we both get what we want? those three questions were critical to the kinds of transformational diplomacy that preceded the kissinger and nixon gambit to china. those questions may be asked, but is there a way to operational lies them? finally i will point out the obvious. we as a country have entered a period of being an, the bill when it comes to the arab world. in a matter of one year we have seen both our friends and our enemies literally go the way of the dodo. the arab world is a new experience. it was basically divided into two types of authoritarians.
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there were the egyptians, and then the iraqis. the syrians and the libyans. they're all gone. our friends are gone, and so are our traditional enemies with whom we had found a way to more or less coexist. we are in a new experience. the arab world may offer up and opportunity for the non arabs to play a much greater role. three countries right now are in a position to be much more consequential to the future of this region than any other arab country. israel, iran, and turkey. those three countries are still capable of acting -- i am not suggesting always for the good -- in ways that can change the nature of conflict or peacemaking in this region.
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just a set of observations. i have the moderator paul duke -- i have the moderator posy prerogative. i will ask the questions that i assume are on the minds of everyone in this room. here is the question period by the end of this calendar year, -- here is the question. by the end of this calendar year, will iran the's nuclear sites be struck a military action? i will be very hard on this one. i want a yes or no iinitially from each of you. if the answer is no, i want a one sentence -- maybe two sentence explanation as to why. will israel or the united states strike iran the's nuclear sites by the end of this year.
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if not, very briefly -- why not? i will gladly give you my view after you give me yours. >>no. i think the risk for military confrontation is higher than it has been in the past. let's not forget we have seen this movie about five times now in the past decade. if however, there is another round of talks and they fail, i would change my prediction. >> but by the end of the calendar year, you and i will be having -- all of us will be having more or less a version of the some conversation. there will be go he knelt -- unilateral military strike? >> from the israeli side.
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>> i will take the easy way out and say "yes." i see an escalation of rhetoric and i see all of the players pushing further and further into a corner. all it takes is a spark. i do not say with all of this uncertainty how i can be stopped. >> are you a moderator or an interrogator? >> and little bit of both, actually. >> my answer is "no." it will be clear the dangers of an israeli strike than to take serious economic action aginst iran. >> i will then add my answer which is "no."
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it is possible but not probable for one single reason. for israel this is not a discretionary were at the moment. for most of the world, including the united states, it is. the basis for a discretionary war which carries this kind of consequences against the returns of what could actually be achieved, the balance is simply not compelling. i will simply say "no." now, one final question. this has been a very uplifting session filled with all kinds of hopes and aspirations for this very troubled region. i would like to add each of you -- i would like to ask each of you. is there any good news that you can identify for us?
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>> i could present one piece of good news. when you have transformation and a fluid situation, yes, it is full of danger. it is also full of opportunity. we are not the only ones who are not clear. all the players are in tension. that is the time to release are engaging with the way of playing on the insecurities. some of the things that without were impossible in the past, limiting iran's soft power, and -- limited and there influence. are we going to be more risk takers and take the kind of bold moves that will allow us to have more influence? there are things that we can do that work. we do not own the issue. we are not the main influence her. but we can do a lot.
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-- we are not the main influence her. >> the challenge us on this issue which is really unfair. if i were to say something, i would say what i said earlier on. there is far greater realization in the administration and levels of constraint that existed before. i do also believe that by 2013 there will be more political space to take courageous action. the question is, can conflict management be successfully pursued in 2012 making sure that nothing further deteriorates in order to get out of the political season that we are in right now in order to have at least a little more boldness and political space to address issues and 2013. if i could pick a fight with my fellow panelists, i would say i think one of the frames -- there are two friends that have been i
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did -- dominating the conversation. the options are between bombing iran and sanctions. i think there are far more options on the table. we are not at a point to where such-options are the only ones remaining on the table. the other one is, as we analyze and point out that the influence is reduced in the region, saying if we can get hamas out of iran, i am not saying if its a bad or good thing, is not like the problems did not exist before this happened. even when we also correctly point out that soft power is reducing, in some ways it has become an ability for us to escape the inevitable
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responsibility of addressing the real problems. it is always easier to point to one or two actors and put the analysis there. >> if you look plainly, in our region we cannot have the privilege of being optomistic. the iranian people didn't not say it's last word. i do believe agian that without this america/european side, i think a revolutionary situation can be created in iran. this is something which i strongly believe can change the regional picture.
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the second -- there is another people -- my people -- they will choose a more reasonable government. the third one -- >>you have thre optomistic points? >> >> when you hear the third one -- when you hear the fourth 1 -- pragmatism will be strong enough to confront and overcome radicalism in the region. i believe in their rowas done. if everything fails, i have to
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say israel is the strongest military power between the caspian sea and the atlantic. >> thank you. my only answer to my own question is things could be a lot worse. let's go to your questions. wait for the microphone, please. >> thank you. you put a lot of emphasis in your remarks on the islamic dimension in the region. he spoke about an ideology -- you spoke about an ideal of -- ideology usually use did movements like communism. it could you elaborate. could you refer to an ideology
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of christianity? >> can you explain better the last point? >> you say israel has an ideology. does another one of the great religions like christianity that also represents over 1 billion people also have an ideology that could be more or less dangerous or neutral? >> i do nothing there is a comparison here. today, there is no overlap between religious christianity and political ambition. the problem is in our region and other regions. the fact that a religion is translated to a political and imperial ambitions. that is the point.
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not only by iran. imperial ambitions, it is natural. when it is multiplied by religion, it gives it a more reckless and relentless and a brutal style. whenever you look at the television, you watch it. you cannot watch television without seeing how the combination of religion, politics, imperial ambition is transformed to unimaginable brutality. >> thank you for an interesting discussion. this is for former minister ephraim sneh.
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when israel looks at the down sides of an attack on the iranian nuclear program, the you consider the casualties that it would cause within iran in terms of bombing sites that are fold -- filled with radioactive and other toxic materials? as israel but any kind of steady that would look at the numbers of people who would be killed and injured in iran if it were to mount such a strike? is that even a factor in their calculations? >> i have to be very careful in answering your questions. we are on a great line between ethical question and operational questions. i can assure you that israel is very careful to avoid that kind of damage.
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it is between a moral issue and a political discussion i cannot answer. i have so many wonderful answers to give you, but i cannot. >> in the third row. >> has a follow up to that question, obviously, there has been a tremendous amount of analogy and analysis of what would happen with a nuclear iran to the arab countries along the persian gulf, western europe, and also eventually the united states through venezuela. how do you deal with those realities of a nuclear iran? [unintelligible]
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i think people are forgetting the serious reality of a nuclear iran. i know the sunni countries are extremely concerned as well as the united states. >> i do not think there are any elements that necessarily would view a nuclear-armed iran as a positive. on the contrary, it is a endless list of negatives that would come around if you have further spread of nuclear weapons in the region. we have to take a step back. that is actually now we're discussing. we're not discussing whether iran should or should not have nuclear weapons. when the negotiations are focused on is whether there should be in richmond and iran. we are taking this issue to a far higher level of hysteria
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that it does not deserve to be on right now. the iranians have a mighty and impressive arsenal of zero nuclear weapons. that is not to say we should not be careful and we should not be very prudent in trying to look at every option, but -- what we are not talking about is weapons. we're talking about containing a nuclear capability. the nuclear capability is immensely the equivalent of a nuclear weapon in some states. and the vast majority of states, that is not the case. i believe that at the end of the day if we permit ourselves to view some of the nuances, we increase our own decision making space. we can find ways to resolve the issue. instead of forcing ourselves into a fabricated choice of thinking that we either have to bomb or accept a bomb. we are not there. we should not be there. we will be there very quickly if
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we rush towards the kind of a framing. we can take a step back and take a look at the nuances and open up the issue and see the many options that do exist. >> let me offer a brief comment. it cuts to the core of the motivational character of the regime. why would a regime. nuclear weapons? while history is not a great guide here, outside of the five permanent members of the security council, they all have nuclear weapons. only four countries possess them. north korea, india, pakistan, and israel. i would argue to you that these are countries -- 34 shore, the israelis do not fit the model, but used -- 3 for sure, israel does not really fit the model. they have profound insecurity with an element of grandiosity.
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they are entitled and fundamentally insecure at the same time. i would argue it is a -- it is the worst conceivable marriage when it comes to individuals and nations. if you argued and they heard you must change the regime, the best hedge against that would be the possession of a weapon. that raises the costs of regime change. also, it increases your own capacity to realize your regional ambitions. it is circumstantial. i find it very compelling. the north koreans wanted a bomb, we could not stop them. the indians and pakistanis and the israelis for the first to develop. all of them ended up with a nuclear weapon.
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i think the preponderance on the motivational character is that at a minimum, the iranians want the capacity to be able to produce one, if not the weapon itself. the analytical. -- and i do not want to monopolize discussion. we really have to get to questions. your point is really critical. expand the option. if you only have a hammer, then every problem is the proverbial nail. that is the way we think about things. there is no question. we also cannot forget the other piece of this. >> i would like to continue to follow up with what you said. it is very important. we all speak about the nuclear projects. development of -- today moscow,
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athens are inside the range of the iranian missiles. the next stage of development, which may take another two years, most of western europe will be under this range of missiles. if you ask me about the implication, the leverage of a nuclear will apply to many important countries. if you remember, the declared ambition of the regime is to be the defender of the muslims. you can imagine what leverage the ambition to defend muslims would have. i would like to address another point, it is the enrichment. if you look at the technical issue of enrichment, we are probably be on this point.
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the amount of low enriched their rhenium is very high right now. he produced the material for a bomb -- how you produce the material for the bomb -- the issue of the enrichment is actually beyond it. between six months to a year, to take what they have and to turn it into a military uranium. that is the point. the issue of -- across the threshold of enrichment to the point that they are in a very short distance from a bomb. the issue is not the technical
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problem of enrichment, but where this regime is leading to. the long-range missiles, the bonds -- that is the question. it is not a seminar on nuclear physics. it is about geopolitics and the fate of nations. israel is not the only one. the gulf countries, they are all under threat no less than israel. fortunately, we have the ability to confront the threat. they are not the only ones. >> at the end of the day, if you are focused on the intentions, you are left either with bombing or an ability to monitor
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and verify what they're doing. as president reagan said when he signed agreements with the soviets, he talked about trust would verify with the case of iran we should mistrust and verify. in the absence of any verification, you have no way of being able to make any real judgments about the intentions of the other side. even if you bomb -- this is the other thing, we talk about a military solution -- that is a charitable way of describing it. it is not a guaranteed solution to receive that title. even in that case, in the previous situations that we have had, all it has done is doubled and tripled the exact desire that you pointed out, which is them forget -- which is for them to get the nuclear. if there is military action, we are more likely to see a nuclear weapon state with the ron than two years than if we continue on
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a path of trying to find a diplomatic solution. >> may i ask the blunt question? you are the chairman of the iranian american association, right? what is your opinion about the regime? >> my opinion of the regime as this is a repressive regime. i find it not convincing to hear that one cares a lot about the iranian people while one talks about taking military action against the country or by imposing the strictest crippling sanctions against a country. >> what is your action? i read every single publication of your organization. you are >> i fail to find what is your
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operational recommendation. you are against sanctions. on the other hand, do you think that this regime will voluntarily relinquished power at some point? >> i think i have far more faith in the iran in people than you do. i believe they will deal with this regime, get rid of this regime, and iran will reach democracy. when you have these tensions with the outside world, that has pushed back the democracy movement in iran. in order to pursue what they were doing, there is a combination of the repressive
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mess of the regime, the militarization of the regime, increased tensions with the outside world. if israel wants to see a democratic iran, bombing iran is not going to bring that about. it is not going to bring back the friendship between the iranian people and the jewish people. >> my first comment, bombing iran is not my desire. i would like to avoid it if possible. how do you think -- this regime will be toppled? how can it happen? what you recommend is keeping the regime, offering more incentive.
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say some incentive for the arunta and people, not the regime. >> -- for the iranian people, not the regime. >> if you take a look at what has happened, the greatest flux coincided in 2009 when the u.s. reduced pressure. i think there is a connection. you are assuming that sanctions bring about democracy. i intend of those cases, only one has democratized. in the 35 cases in which non- democracies have transition to democracy is, only one was on the form of sanctions. all the others transitioned in the absence of sanctions. it is highly and convincing. there is not any evidence to support it. -- highly unconvincing. there is not any evidence to
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support it. to pursue ideas that are what we like to see. this is turning more to what we like to see without absence -- with absence of support for it. we need to get into the conversation again. >> cuba, for instance, it does not mean the best bloodless way to bring down the regime is by making it hard to run the country. >> make it difficult for the regime. >> to justify being --
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what's the right for the palestinians. >> i am not a physicist. i do not understand the relation. in my point of view, it is not about democracy. it is about interests. what i'm hearing you say is, i should trust and uncertain process by which the iranians might or might not arrive at a government. every indication is the runyan regime is pursuing nuclear weapons. -- is the the runyan regime is pursuing nuclear weapons. trusting this is going to change, i am not sure that is going to work. at the end of the day, there are huge costs to a nuclear iran. in the arab world, if you say, we are giving too much freedom, i would say, hezbollah and
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hamas, yes, they would still exist. yes, they would be unfriendly to others. they will not be as capable -- until today, we have other organizations. i am for the view that you have to push hard. we have a very limited time to act. the military is not the preferred action. a nuclear iran is going to transform the original map and our interests in the region. we cannot trust the people to change the government. that is my view. >> we have time for one additional question. one additional question.
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>> i am the head of the iran of litigation of the european parliament. i would like to come back to the question of uranium enrichment. i believe this is the only way there is a diplomatic breakthrough. it is not a technical question, it is the politics of uranium enrichment. i was interested to hear the obama administration has not said 0 in richmond. many of the other countries -- zero enrichment. many of the other countries have not said 0 in richmond. there is a possibility of compromise. the iranians will never say zero enrichment. they believe they have the right
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to enrich for peaceful purposes. it is so much it in theiranian identity today, that saying 0 would be a suicide for anyone. there has to be some acceptance of peace. this can be done. the question is, with israel ever accept a limited ability of a uranium enrichment in iran? >> you represent the opinion of parliament. the last 16 years, during 10 years, the european countries did exactly that. they negotiated with the iranian regime about the enrichment.
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finally they came to the conclusion that the smart ayatollah used this negotiation to gain time. you called a critical dialogue. all the western european leaders, the french, the german, the british, this dialogue, this negotiation, they discovered they were cheated. the regime used the time to weapon as uranium. -- weaponize uranium. there is no sense to go back to these talks. it is not the case. the administration's budget to be affected. -- effective.
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they are asking, -- the administration started to be affected. they are asking, let's go back. no. a democratic iran and let them have all the technologies in the world, not this regime. not this regime which despised the culture and the values of your society. you do not know it. >> we have come to the end of the hour. please join me in thanking the panelists for a fascinating discussion. [applause] thank you all for coming. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> more on the international response to the nuclear program tomorrow, when the center for strategic and international studies host a forum on u.s. policy options. the discussion will begin live at 5:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> it is our cause to dispel the illusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony. if we do not rock the boat, or irritate the forces of aggression, this is hogwash. at >> as candidates campaign for president, we look back at 14 men who ran for the office and
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lost. good to our web site, c- span.org/thecontenders. >> this is also the time to turn away from excessive preoccupation overseas to the rebuilding of our own nation. america must be restored to its proper role in the world. we can do that only to the recovery of confidence in ourselves. >> c-span.org/thecontenders. >> at the campaign rally in arizona, mitt romney says he favors a 20% tax cut and will reduce the tax rate from -- for the wealthiest americans from 35% to 28%. he is joined by his wife and a congressman. arizona holds its primary on tuesday. this is 45 minutes.
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[applause] >> welcome to ground zero right here in chandler, arizona. i wanted to pass on a message. i know we have a lot of our youth here today. they are very nervous about their country. they do not want us to keep dumping our debt on their back. we send them to our borders and pass laws to push them back, and then we give them our bill. i do not want to give our children my bill any more. we have a young man fighting
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out here for our children. he has come a long way to reach out to arizona, the most conservative state in america. [cheers and applause] the most. i know this is true because we have been through these times together. the speaker of the house of the state of arizona, we have cut this government and reduced your taxes. no one has defended the border more than the state of arizona. [cheers and applause] i want to introduce to you another great conservative from right here. would you please welcome with me, congressman jeff flake. [cheers and applause] >> thank you.
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i am glad to be here with my wife. we have five children as well. this is mitt romney country right here in arizona. [cheers and applause] let me tell you why i support mitt romney. over the last three and a half years, we have watched this country pile on $5 trillion of new debt. we have tried to convince this president as hard as we can as republicans in washington to stop this spending and borrowing from our kids and grandkids, but we cannot convince him. we have sat by while we have seen regulations pile onto this country. we have tried to convince this president this is not the way to go. the great thing is about the fourth year of a four-year
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term, you do not have to convince the president of anything anymore. you just have to replace him. [cheers and applause] so, when this president proposes to have another deficit of $1.4 trillion, what do we need to do? replace him! when this president gives hundreds of millions of dollars to companies like solyndra and proposes to do more things like that, what do we need to do? when this president proposes to have new regulations that will make it difficult to climb out of this recession, we do not need to convince him. what do we need to do? >> replace him! >> we need somebody in this
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country who can turn it around. we need a turnaround. when the winter olympics needed somebody who needed to fix the situation, who did they turn to? mitt romney. when the state of massachusetts faced a huge debt and had to have somebody turn that state around, who did they turn to? >> mitt romney! >> when our country is deep in debt, $6 trillion, who do we need to turn this country around? >> mitt romney! >> this is arizona's birthday. we are 100 years old this year. we had the good fortune to have the birthday present of being able to wake up in this state every day, to be able to have 77-degree weather today in february. to be in a state where the
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beauty of the sunset is only eclipsed by the sunrise the next morning. we can not share that all with the rest of the country. but one thing we can do is have an election here six months from now, and we can put mitt romney over the top. [cheers and applause] by putting a fiscal conservative like mitt romney over the top, we can propel him to the republican nomination for the republican party and then on to the white house. [cheers and applause] please join me in welcoming the next president of the united states, mitt romney and his wife. [cheers and applause]
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[applause] >> thank you. how many students are from tri- city christian? thank you for letting me use your school.
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i brought a friend with me. when i was in high school, there was a sophomore who was very attractive. i went to a party and she came with someone else. i went to the guy that she came with and i said i live closer to her than you do. can i give her a ride home for you? [laughter] we have been going steady ever since. my girlfriend, ann romney. [cheers and applause] >> hi. i love seeing so many students. you are wearing the school shirt and it looks great. you better watch out. whoever you date in high school, you may end up marrying. we have been married for 32
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years and have five married sons and 16 grandchildren. i will tell you the greatest joy i have is being a grandmother. the best part of it is watching my grandchildren misbehave. i get the biggest kick out of it. i think the boys deserve every minute of stress. it is great to have had mitt reminding me what i was doing was more important than what he was doing. but this time, he has a big job ahead of him. i will be supporting him and helping him and being by his side and knowing that the decisions he will be making are going to be hard ones. i think character matters. i think it is important to know the kind of life this man has led. thank you all for coming out today. let's give him a good welcome.
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[cheers and applause] >> mr. speaker and congressman, thank you for introducing us. i know you could wish she could speak the whole time. i am going to talk about being even younger than high school. i remember going to kindergarten. my first class was in hampton school in detroit, michigan. i was about five years old. there were about 35 or 40 kids in the classroom. my guess is the parents thought their children's future was going to be bright and prosperous. they believed in the promise of america. they believed if their kids were taught the right values and
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they were able to get an education and they worked hard, they could have a prosperous and secure home. that has been the promise of america from the very beginning. by hard work and education and good values, that our future will be bright, and our kids' future will be brighter than the lives that we lived. over the last few years, that promise has been broken for a lot of americans. we have about 24 million americans who are out of work or have stopped looking for work or have part-time jobs and they need to work full-time. the president said he would turn this economy around in three years. he broke that promise. we are here to collect. [cheers and applause] he said if we let him borrow
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$787 billion, which you guys will pay for, he said if we let him borrow $787 billion, he would hold unemployment below 8%. 36 months later, 36 straight months of unemployment above 8%. it is time for him to go. [cheers and applause] he said he would cut the deficit in half. he has doubled it. he has doubled it. he said that medicare and social security were financially insolvent and needed to be fixed. he has not made any proposals to fix it. this is a president who has broken the promises he has made. i believe in america and the right course of america. i believe it is to restore the principles that made america the hope of the earth.
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young people coming out of high school, college, they are finding they cannot get jobs. dick armey said something interesting. he said the american dream is getting your kids out of your home. [laughter] we have too many kids that come out of high school or college and cannot find work. this president has no plan to turn around the economy, no plan to eliminate the deficit, no plan to fix medicare or social security. he is out of ideas, he is out of excuses, and in 2012, we will put him out of the white house. [cheers and applause] several months ago, i put this little book out. this book is called "believe in
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america." i laid out in here the things i would do to get america's economy going again. i said in here that there were parts that had to come together. it needs to be brought together as a whole. i laid out a number of things i would do. ideas on entitlement reform. i laid out ideas about reducing the deficit. i also laid out some plans for how we get our economy growing again and creating some jobs. i said -- i had some immediate plans up front but i wanted to put in place a tax plan that created more growth that was simpler, flatter, and fairer. i want to describe to you today what i am going to do to get america's promise restored in this country. i have to reform entitlements to make sure that we can keep
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medicare and social security solvent. i have to cut our spending and deficits. we are spending too much. [cheers and applause] i am going to take the federal spending budget line by line and ask this question. can we afford this program? if we cannot pay for it, is this program so essential that it is worth borrowing money from china to pay for it? if not, i will get rid of it. [cheers and applause] with regards to our tax policy and growth, there are a couple of things i would like to announce. i am going to lower rates across the board for all americans by 20%.
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[cheers and applause] and in order to limit any impact on the deficit, because i do not want to add to the deficit, and to make sure we continue to have productivity, i am going to limit the deductions and the deductions particularly for high income folks. for middle income families, the deductibility of home mortgage interest and charitable contributions will continue, but for high income folks, we are going to cut back on that so we make sure the top 1% pay their fair share or more. middle income americans have been hurt by this obama economy. [cheers and applause] let me note. this has to be combined with those other two things i mentioned. we have to have more jobs, less
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debt, and smaller government. they go together. you cannot do one of those things by itself. you have to do others to restore the american promise. this idea of lowering our marginal tax rates across the board -- why do that by the way? just to give more money to people to spend? there is another reason. by lowering those rates, we help businesses that pay at the individual tax rate to have more money so they can hire more people and pay higher wages. do you know how many people work at companies that are taxed at the individual rate? about 55% of american workers. we want those businesses to grow and thrive and be successful. tosident obama's plan is raise taxes on those enterprises. my plan is to lower it by 20% and put more people back to work. [cheers and applause]
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my plan is part of the economy -- i do not want to add to the deficit. that is why i cut a number of programs to make sure we get america on track to get a balanced budget. we have to make sure that medicare and social security are preserved. it is one whole package. in washington, they do not think like that. if you are in the business world or in your home, you do not have one person thinking about how much money comes in the door and one person thinking about how much you spend. if you cannot balance budgets, you are out of business. if you cannot balance your budget at home, you will be out of your home at some point. in the government, you have committee's thinking about spending and others thinking about taxing. we have to lower our spending,
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preserve our long-term viability by fixing our entitlements to restore the american dream. that is exactly what i will get done. [cheers and applause] you are going to hear me say time and time again. more jobs, less debt, small government. more jobs, less debt, smaller government. we have a very different course set out in front of us. the president would take us in one direction. i would take us in a different one. his plan is very simple. he wants to raise taxes. that will kill jobs in this country. he is proposing a corporate tax plan that is raising taxes on businesses by hundreds of billions of dollars.
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he is raising taxes on these companies that pay taxes at individual rates. raising taxes will kill jobs. my plan will create jobs. that is the difference between the two of us. [cheers and applause] he is comfortable with spending more than we take in by about a trillion dollars a year. if i am president, i will cut spending, cap spending, and finally get us a balanced budget. [cheers and applause] he likes the idea of the government managing our health care system, telling you what kind of insurance, covered, and treatment you can have. if i am president, i will repeal obamacare. [cheers and applause]
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if he is reelected, he will continue to put the hold on natural gas, coal, and oil. if i am president, i will get that oil from canada. [cheers and applause] this president wants to fundamentally transform america into something that we are not. i want to restore to america at the principles that made us the strongest nation on earth. i will do so with your help. this is a very critical time for us. it is the choice about what kind of america we are going to enjoy. are we going to become like the european social welfare state with high unemployment, high debt, and low job growth? i love the founding document of america.
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they are the blueprint for our way forward. [cheers and applause] the declaration of independence had extraordinary insight that changed the world. it said these things, among others, that the creator had it in doubt us with our rights. -- endowed us with our rights. [cheers and applause] that among those rights are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. yet in this nation, we would be free to pursue happiness as we choose, rather than the government telling us how to live our lives or be limited by the circumstance of birth. this is the land of opportunity. my view is to restore the
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printable. the ability of americans to live a life of opportunity is what makes us who we are. america became a place where all of the pioneers and innovators of the world wanted to come. this is the land of opportunity. they came here by the millions. this president is taking that. i do not think he understands the power of free people and enterprise. [cheers and applause] i know we face huge challenges. we are up to the challenge. the american people are the most patriotic people in the world. we place our hands over our hearts during the singing of the national anthem. we love our country.
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"america the beautiful." "for amber waves of grain." when i was a boy, my parents took me around to the national parks. i fell in love with the land. over the years, i fell in love with the people. there is another version of that song. do we have at any veterans here or members of the armed services? please raise your hand. [cheers and applause] there is another verse. "beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years."
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when they wrote the declaration of independence and drafted the constitution, they were not just waiting for their time. they saw beyond their years. i want to restore those principles and america's promise. i will get america strong again. i am going to do it with your help. thank you so much. [cheers and applause] ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] ♪
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>> thank you so much. good to see you. thank you. thank you. we are going to do that. thank you. hi, how are you? thank you. hi, how are you? hi there. are you? thank you so much. good to see it. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. good to see you. thank you.
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♪ >> hi there, how are you? nice to see you.
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hi, how are you? thank you. how are you doing? good to see you. thank you. thank you. great to see it. how are you? thank you. how are you doing? hi there, how are you? nice to see you. good to see you. hi there, how are you?
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hi. hi, how are you? thank you. hi, how are you? nice to see it. how are you doing? hi. great to see you as. -- guys. thank you so much. how are you doing? hi, how are you? hi there, how are you today?
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good to see it. -- you. hi there. hi there. hi, how're you doing? are you doing? hi.
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good to see you. thank you. good to see you guys. thank you. thank you so much. thank you. hi, how are you? good to see you. what a work for you. >> thank you. -- >> i work for you. >> thank you. hi there. how are you doing?
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nice to see you. how are you doing? how are you today? thank you. thank you. how are you doing? thank you. i appreciate that. thank you so much. hi. thank you. hi there, how are you? hi guys. how are you doing? hi.
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thank you. thank you so much. great to see. thanks for being here. >> what is going to happen tonight? >> nice to see you guys. how are you? thank you. thank you so much. thank you for your service. hi, how are you? good to see you. how are you?
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♪ ♪ ♪
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[cheers] ♪ ♪ ♪ >> hi, how are you doing? nice to see you. good to see you. take care. hi, how are you doing? hi there. thank you. thank you. how are you?
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♪ ♪ mahatm >> hi there, how are you? ♪ ♪ >> thank you. hi, how are you? >> thank you.
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thank you. how are you doing? ♪ ♪ ♪
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>> thank you. thanks guys. hi, how are you doing? thank you. thank you guys. [indistinct chatter]
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♪ ♪ >> hi, how are you? how are you? ♪
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♪ >> arizona is mitt romney
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country, it really is. a number of people will turn up. they have a campaign that it's on all cylinders. he has been here a number of times. we get him in here. he has paid a lot of visits to arizona. he has a lot of volunteers. they are making a lot of calls. this is campaign 101. that is what you see going on here. that is why he is doing here. >> are the polls close a? >> they have been close threat. -- throughout. they rise to the top and a couple of weeks. -- in a couple of weeks.
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governor romney hold steady perry >> does your message have any impact on the campaign? >> i do not see it having an impact at all. >> is this something you are concerned that santorum may bring up? >> i do not know what he would do. [inaudible] i think the governor recognizes it will be a hard fought to win. >> how where it would be about arizona? >> i think the governor will win.
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the plan he has will resonate well. >> thank you. >> on road to the white house coverage of the mitt romney campaign continues tomorrow. the candidate it will be speaking to the associated builders and contractors national board of directors meeting. live coverage begins at 10:30
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a.m. eastern on c-span to and c- span.org. coming up next, from the world economic forum, a discussion about women in leadership roles. the president speaks at the groundbreaking of an african american history museum. and later, a defence department briefing on afghanistan. the republican presidential candidates debated tonight. on tomorrow's washington journal, tucker carlson joins us to offer his thoughts. then a look at president obama's plan to reduce the corporate tax rate from 35% to 28%. we will talk to rebecca wilkins. and we will discuss the agreement between u.s. and mexico to work together on oil and gas drilling in the gulf of mexico. our guest is loren steffy.
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>> we got started because there are a lot of conservative think tanks that work across these issues. before, there had been no organization that worked on economic policy. >> the president and ceo of the center for american progress on the mission of the washington d.c.-based think tank. >> we think there is an ideology behind the argument that a maid in washington with little fact made behind them. part of out -- that are made in washington with little fact behind them. i do think sometimes, when the facts -- they reexamine those positions. we believe the most important
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thing is to be right about what your views are. >> a look at the center for american process -- progress, sunday night at 8:00 p.m. panelists in switzerland discuss the future of women in leadership roles and gender disparities in the cultural world. on the panel, thailand's first female prime minister and chief operating officer of facebook. this is an hour. >> i have to say this is something of a milestone. there's been a tradition here to regard women's empowerment as something that is worthy and nice, but also a soft issue and kind of secondary, and to have this discussion with this extraordinary panel being held here in this large hall is really a reflection to the degree to which this issue has grown up and has graduated to a perception that if you want to address the world's key issues, whether it be global poverty or economic development, climate
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change, insecurity, help you have to do it by educating girls and bringing those educated women into the global labor force and positions of power, whether it be here at the world economic forum or in corridors of power all over the world. global labor force and positions of power, whether it be here at the world economic forum or in corridors of power all over the world. we have this terrific panel to discuss these issues with. from my left we have prime minister shinawat, the first woman prime minister of thailand. we have archbishop desmond tutu , the nobel peace prize laureate, and also chair of the elders. michelle bacele, the first woman president of chile and now head of u.n. women.
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, tual lazan esks, the c.e.o. of holdings in bahrain and empowers women in the leadership role in bahrain and around the world and cheryl sandberg, the c.o.o. of facebook and worldwide a voice for focusing on women's talent and bringing it to bear on all kinds of global issues. [applause] >> when economists try to explain the economic dynamism of asia, then, while there are many different business models country by country in asia, one thing they pointed to is the way countries have made increasingly good use of the female half of the population as part of the economic recipe for success across asia and would like to invite the prime
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minister to start by givings her sense how thailand has used, the females of this population as pardon of its extraordinary dynamism. prime minister? >> ladies and gentlemen, may i speak in thai so i can make my contents clear. >> good afternoon. distinguished guests. [speaking through interpreter] >> it's a great honor and pleased to be re to have this opportunity to say some remarks and join the debate on women as a way forward. especially happy. i feel it's very lucky that i was born in the th a, i society which has gender equality between men and women.

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